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Senior woman having bone density tested at doctor visitOsteoporosis is thinning of the bones and it’s a common cause of fractures in older Americans. The National Osteoporosis Foundation says one in two women and up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

A woman’s risk of breaking a hip due to osteoporosis is equal to her risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined. And a man age 50 or older is more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than he is to get prostate cancer.

Every year, 75,000 Americans with osteoporosis who break a hip will die within 12 months of the injury. The same number will end up in a nursing home and another 150,000 people will never regain previous function after a hip fracture.

Early detection of osteoporosis is an important part of preventing these debilitating injuries and deaths and there are risk factors that call for a bone health checkup.

Some risks are uncontrollable, like being over age 50, being female and having gone through menopause, having a family history of osteoporosis, being small and thin or having a history of broken bones.

Other risk factors are related to lifestyle and diet, such as:

  • not getting enough calcium and vitamin D
  • not eating enough fruits and vegetables
  • getting too much protein, sodium and caffeine
  • being inactive
  • smoking or drinking too much alcohol

A bone density test called a DEXAScan can be done in a doctor’s office. It takes only a few minutes and uses x-rays to examine the bone of your forearm, wrist, fingers, or heel. This scan is normally used as a screening tool to determine if further testing or treatment is necessary.

Treatment for osteoporosis often includes medications along with lifestyle and diet changes to help slow the rate of bone thinning. Your doctor can determine what treatment plan is right for you.

Your bones reach peak density in your 20s. That means for almost every adult the time to start thinking about bone loss is now. Weight-bearing exercise and a diet rich in calcium, fruits and vegetables can help you reduce the risk that osteoporosis will change your life.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax