Building Better Bones
Experts predict that half of all postmenopausal women will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Prevention is the key to developing osteoporosis. But as you get older, you’ll also want to talk with your doctor about screenings for osteoporosis because the disease can be treated with medications to help prevent fractures, some of which can be debilitating.
Adena offers a painless, noninvasive screening for osteoporosis called a bone density (DEXA) scan. This screening, available at four Adena locations throughout the region, uses X-rays to measure the amount of calcium and other minerals present in the bones of your hip, lumbar spine, or forearm. Your results are compared to the average of a person with your same gender, age, and race.
According to guidelines from the International Society of Clinical Densitometry, these populations should have a DEXA scan:
- All women 65 years and older and all men 70 and older
- Postmenopausal women younger than 65 with high risk factors
- Other women who have risk factors including low body weight, prior fractures, or high-risk medication usage
- Anyone being treated for osteoporosis, to monitor the effects of medication therapy.
Your physician also may recommend a bone density screening if you’ve experienced a fragility fracture, such as from a strong cough or sneeze; lost height, taken certain drugs such as steroids or hormone replacement therapy long-term; or had a drop in estrogen due to cancer treatment.
Talk with your doctor about frequency of screenings based upon your individual risk factors as there are no universal recommendations.
Adena also treats other bone and joint conditions, including arthritis.
As you age, you start losing bone faster than your body can build it. That’s why it’s never too early or too late to build stronger bones. Good habits, even in your teenage years, can help you slow your body’s natural bone loss. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends these prevention steps:
Get enough calcium: Women younger than 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium a day, and women over age 50 should strive for 1,200 mg daily. Foods high in calcium include milk and other dairy products, spinach and kale, fortified orange juice, soy products, and almonds.
Get daily vitamin D: Without vitamin D, your body can’t absorb the calcium you take in. Women up to age 70 need 60 IU of vitamin D daily. That number bumps up to 800 after age 71. In addition to supplements and vitamin D-rich foods like eggs, salmon, and milk, your body produces vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
Make your bones work: Regular weight-bearing activities, such as walking, hiking, lifting weights, or even gardening, are great ways to build strong bones. Exercise will also strengthen your muscles to support your joints and improve your balance, which can help you avoid falls.
Practice healthy habits: Smoking and drinking alcohol can both raise your risk for osteoporosis. If you drink, do so in moderation.
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Adena Bone and Joint Center
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Adena Greenfield Medical Center
550 Mirabeau Street
Greenfield, OH 45123