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Bone health

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No bones about it, stronger bones can mean decreased fracture risk

Osteoporosis, or low bone mass, is a serious disease affecting over 54 million Americans over the age of 50 in which there is a loss of bone mass and destruction of the bone tissue. Approximately one in two women and one in four men will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis occurs when you lose too much bone, make too little new bone, or both. When this happens, your bones are weak, brittle and are at increased risk of breaking. These bone breaks, or fractures, can occur in situations that otherwise shouldn’t cause broken bones, like minor slips, trips or falls, sneezing, bending over, or bumping into objects.

The osteoporosis experts at Novant Health will evaluate your risk factors and investigate causes of your broken bone. We are trained in developing treatment plans to reduce risks of future fractures and decrease future bone loss.

Risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Age greater than 50
  • Post-menopausal female
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Family history of broken bones
  • Low body weight/being frail or thin
  • Loss of height as you age
  • Low Vitamin D and/or Calcium
  • Having an inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Long-term use of certain medications (including but not limited to PPIs, steroids, antacids)
  • Certain diseases (including but not limited to bariatric surgery, diabetes, celiac disease, thyroid disorders and cancer)

Your Novant Health provider may recommend a DXA bone density scan as a way to evaluate your bone health. This is a painless imaging test where a machine measures the density of your bones to help your healthcare provider determine if you need treatment or if your treatment is working.

There are a number of treatments available for osteoporosis. Whether you’re someone who can tolerate the simplicity of a daily pill or someone who appreciates the conveniences of a once a year treatment, the Novant Health osteoporosis experts can help you maintain your active lifestyle, keep your independence and lower your fracture risk while keeping your bones as strong as possible.