What is osteoporosis? Think of it this way: Healthy bones are in a state of continuous breakdown and rebuilding. This process, called remodeling, is performed by specialized cells called osteoclasts, which resorb (break down) old bone, and osteoblasts, which form new bone. In young adults, remodeling happens in a balanced … Read More
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become thin and brittle, to the point where they are more vulnerable to fractures. Bones constantly undergo a process of breaking down and rebuilding. With age, bone breakdown happens at a faster pace than rebuilding, leaving bones weaker. Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men, especially if they have a family history of the disease and a small body frame.
Because osteoporosis often causes no symptoms until you?ve already broken a bone, the only way to know whether you have the condition may be to screen for it. If you?re at risk for osteoporosis, your doctor will do a test called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to determine how much mineral your bones contain. This test can determine whether you have osteoporosis. Women age 65 and over, and men age 70 and over should consider having a DXA scan. Central DXA scans measure bone density in the hip and spine. Peripheral DXA scans measure bone density in the wrist, heel, or finger. Your doctor will tell you which measurement you need.
The DXA test result is reported as a T-score. This score compares your bone density to that of a 30-year-old person of your gender. A T-score between -1 and -2.5 is considered low bone mass, or osteopenia. A T-score of -2.5 means you have osteoporosis. An osteoporosis -2.5 score indicates you are at greater risk of fracturing a bone in the future.
Your T-score results can help your doctor determine which treatment option is right for you. If your fracture risk isn?t high, you might be able to manage bone strength with a combination of diet and exercise. A score of osteoporosis -2.5 may require bisphosphonate medicines, such as alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), ibandronate (Boniva), or zoledronic acid (Reclast). Other osteoporosis medicines include denosumab (Prolia), teriparatide (Forteo), and raloxifene (Evista).
Many women and men diagnosed with osteoporosis are immediately prescribed prescription drugs which, they discover sooner or later, can have difficult-to-tolerate side effects as well as frightening long-term risks. Can osteoporosis be reversed? This realization leads many individuals with osteoporosis to ask, "Can osteoporosis be reversed without drugs?" Unfortunately, there … Read More
If you have a family member with osteoporosis symptoms, you’ve probably noticed what I’ve seen in my own family—a gradual decline of posture, or developing a hunchback spine with age. After spending some time with my 80-year-old mom recently, I went to give her a hug and a kiss goodbye … Read More
Osteopenia isn’t as serious as osteoporosis—see our posts defining bone loss test scores of osteoporosis -2.5 or osteoporosis -3.0. But it’s also not easy to detect; there aren’t any obvious osteopenia symptoms. Certain factors, however, can make you vulnerable to osteopenia, meaning that it's important to preserve your bone density. … Read More
A DEXA scan (also written as DXA scan) is what health professionals call dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. A test that measures the strength of your bones as you age, a DEXA scan is necessary for certain individuals because the body manufactures bone less efficiently as we get older. Research suggests that … Read More
It’s a question that should concern all women: “What is osteoporosis?" Yet it also should concern men, who may not be aware they also could be at risk for the disease. What Is Osteoporosis? It Starts with an Imbalance You may not realize that your bones—like all your body tissues—are … Read More
The diagnosis of osteoporosis—or warning-level osteopenia—may cause you to frantically search for information on how to increase bone density. The answer may be as simple as the food you eat and your activity level. Of course, your physician can prescribe a drug when you ask how to increase bone density, … Read More
What does "osteoporosis -2.5" mean? To answer that question, we start with bone density scans, sometimes referred to as bone densitometry or dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA, also written as DXA). Such scans have become an increasingly popular testing modality as more than 10 million adults in the United States alone … Read More
According to the National Institutes of Health, osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones and makes them more prone to breaks. To determine whether you have osteoporosis, your physician will order a bone mineral density test to take a "snapshot" of your bone health. The test can identify osteoporosis and … Read More
Certain conditions or disorders can develop as we age that impact our quality of life and ability to live independently. Here, we take a look at the most common health problems in elderly people—conditions always worth monitoring. Osteoarthritis: Sometimes called "wear and tear" arthritis, osteoarthritis is characterized by a loss … Read More