Osteoporosis sneaks up on you, because it doesn’t produce any symptoms until your bones are so weak that they begin to fracture. Women have a very high risk of developing osteoporosis when they reach menopause, so the doctors at Naples Women’s Center encourage you to come in for an evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones are weak and brittle because you’ve lost bone mass. In other words, you just don’t have the amount of bone your body needs. Osteoporosis puts you at risk for fractures, which are not always caused by a fall or injury. Your bones can break simply because they’re too weak to support the weight and movement of your body.
Bones stop growing and reach their peak mass in your early 20’s. Then throughout your life, they stay healthy by constantly discarding old, weak bone and replacing it with new, strong bone.
You can’t control loss of bone, because it’s a normal, automatic process. You can control whether you get enough calcium and vitamin D to allow your body to build enough new bone to keep up with natural bone loss. When this process gets out of balance, you develop osteoporosis.
Imbalance leading to osteoporosis begins in midlife, when most people start to lose more old bone than is replaced with new bone. When women reach menopause, bone mass declines at a rapid pace, which significantly increases their risk for osteoporosis.
The primary causes of osteoporosis are:
- Loss of estrogen
- Deficiency of calcium and vitamin D
- Lack of exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise
- Certain medications (cortisone, prednisone, anticonvulsants)
- Health conditions:
- Eating disorders
- Kidney or liver disease
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Yes, we offer bone densitometry, which is the only way to test for osteoporosis. This specialized procedure uses an enhanced form of X-ray technology to determine bone density and measure bone loss. Bone density testing is strongly recommended for postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis requires a comprehensive treatment plan to rebuild strong bones. This means evaluating your nutritional status and planning regular exercise. Your doctor at Naples Women’s Center may prescribe medications that slow or stop bone loss or help you build new bone. Managing underlying health conditions and medications that contribute to osteoporosis is also an important part of treatment.