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Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease. It involves the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density, and it is most common in the spine, hips and wrists.
As people age, the amount of bone tissue produced by their bodies begins to slowly decline. The older a person gets, the more this decrease in bone tissue accelerates. While this condition is a normal part of the aging process, the decrease in bone tissue may result in an increased incidence of fractures and a loss of spinal stability.
In addition to aging, there are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of osteoporosis, such as: gender (women are far more likely than men to develop osteoporosis), race (Caucasians and Asians are at a higher risk), smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, medication history, and insufficient calcium and/or protein in your diet, as well as metabolic reasons.
The best defense against osteoporosis is building strong bones before the age of 30, but there are many things that older adults can do to maintain strong bones and prevent disease-related fractures (called “fragility fractures”). These include:
Aptly called a “silent killer,” osteoporosis is rarely symptomatic in its early stages. Most patients do not complain of pain or experience postural changes until the disease is well advanced. It is our mission to educate about disease risk factors before symptoms occur, and to help patients retain a healthy, active lifestyle for years to come. Osteoporosis symptoms include:
Symptomless in its early stages, osteoporosis is a treacherous disease that sneaks up on patients—and often advances rapidly. Our osteoporosis specialists are adept at evaluating disease risk, and will recommend the lab and bone density testing necessary for early detection and management. In order to diagnose bone disease, physicians take a thorough medical history and physical examination, followed by a variety of possible tests, including bone density tests, blood and urine tests, and X-rays. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is the preferred technique for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). Easy to perform with low radiation exposure, a DEXA scanner is a machine that produces two X-ray beams, each with different energy levels, to measure bone density. If an osteoporosis diagnosis is confirmed, Dr. Kayal and his expert team can determine the extent of bone loss and create a treatment plan.
Dr. Kayal and his team are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, and are committed to providing patients with acute symptom relief and ongoing disease management. Since osteoporosis is a normal part of aging, there is no “cure” for the condition, but steps can be taken to minimize symptoms and reduce the potential for fractures. There are also a number of medications that may be prescribed, along with suggested changes to diet, lifestyle, and activity level. If the osteoporosis has already resulted in fractures, surgical intervention may be required.