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Understanding the Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

As you get older, your risk of getting certain conditions increases. Osteoporosis is one of those conditions that can creep up on you over time. It can lead to broken bones, so getting it under control early is key. 

At TruWell Health, our team specializes in the treatment of many disorders, including osteoporosis. Dr. Lora Brown and Dr. Michael MacMillan are our two board-certified orthopedic surgeons. They help you determine if osteoporosis poses a risk to you.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects your bones. It can make you lose the amount of bone you have, also known as your bone mass, or it can also make your bones very brittle. This usually leads to fractures from even the slightest misstep, such as a fall or even a hard cough.

Around the age of 30, your bone density is at its peak; meaning as you age, your bone mass begins to deteriorate. Although this doesn’t mean you’ll definitely end up with osteoporosis, it does contribute to the risk of brittle bones. 

So how do you know if you have osteoporosis? The truth is, you might not have any actual symptoms; in fact, a broken bone could be the very first sign of a problem. However, in the later stages of the disease you may notice other signs such as:

Although at this point, the outlook seems grim, understanding your risk factors for developing this disease can help you avoid the troubles of osteoporosis.

Common risk factors

There are two types of risk factors associated with osteoporosis — those you can control, and those you can’t. For example, you can’t control your genetics, meaning if someone in your family has osteoporosis, you’re at a greater risk for getting it. Other noncontrollable risk factors include:

When you have uncontrollable factors, Dr. Brown and Dr. MacMillan help you to lower your risk with lifestyle changes or other treatments to give you the best shot at avoiding osteoporosis. However, there are things that you might do on a daily basis that make you more susceptible to osteoporosis, including:

By limiting your alcohol intake and making sure you have enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet, you’re taking a small step toward bettering your chances of an osteoporosis-free life.

Getting treatment

Although there’s no cure for this disease, there are prevention strategies you can take to limit your risk. However, if you’ve already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you’re probably wondering what treatments are available.

Lifestyle changes can greatly help your osteoporosis from getting worse. These changes can include more activity, and a balanced diet. You can also take supplemental vitamins, like calcium and vitamin D to improve the strength of your bones.

At TruWell Health, we also offer another type of specialized treatment for osteoporosis, known as our bone strengthening program. This program helps to increase your bone density through eccentric weight lowering, which uses less metabolic demand than traditional weight lifting. It’s a good treatment option for people of all ages. 

To figure out if you're at an increased risk for osteoporosis, call our office at 727-361-2162 or book an appointment online today to learn more about our treatment plans.

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