Osteoporosis Care Saratoga Springs and Glens Falls NY
As women approach menopause our estrogen levels begin to decline. Estrogen has a protective effect against bone loss, and therefore its declining levels can result in bone thinning over time.
The most rapid decline of estrogen typically occurs in the first 2-3 years after menopause. When the bone loss gets to a certain degree of severity, a condition known as osteoporosis has developed. Osteoporosis causes the bones of the spine to weaken and can cause them to slowly collapse under the weight of the upper body.
Signs of osteoporosis include “shrinking” in height, back pain or tenderness, slight curving of the back/spine. The symptoms of osteoporosis are often silent until a fracture occurs.
The most common areas of fracture are the hip, spine and forearm. These fractures can occur with minimal to no trauma. Unfortunately, the impact of these fractures can include permanent disability, decreased mobility and even death. Osteoporosis is more common than many realize. In fact, 1 in 2 women are at risk for fracture and 1 in 8 women have at least one spinal fracture that they are not even aware of. Spinal fractures in particular may occur without symptoms. The risk for hip fracture alone in a women equals her combined risk of developing uterine, ovarian and breast cancer. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you are already at increased risk for osteoporosis:
- approaching or through menopause
- thin or small framed
- a smoker
- fair skinned
- an excessive alcohol drinker
- lactose intolerant (low calcium intake)
- taking chronic steroids or thyroid medication
Do you have?
- a chronic intestinal disorder
- an eating disorder
- a family history of osteoporosis
- a sedentary lifestyle
A simple and painless bone density test called a DEXA scan can tell us if you have osteoporosis or if you have low bone mass (osteopenia) that can put you at increased risk.
If you are at risk of getting or have osteoporosis, your Women’s Care provider can discuss lifestyle modifications and medications that can reduce your risk of fracture.