top of page

Everything You Need to Know About Osteoporosis

Did you know up to 45% of patients with osteoporosis related fractures die within the first year due to complications?

Osteoporosis affects 5% of men and 25% of women over the age of 65…which means it’s a major health issue. If those statistics don’t grab your attention, then this one certainly will:

50% of all women will suffer from an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime…that’s equal to the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined!

The good news is that osteoporosis is a preventable disease if proactive steps are taken to prevent it. Here’s what you need to know to protect your bones from this ‘silent killer’.

What is Osteoporosis?

The World Health Organization defines osteoporosis as:

A progressive systemic skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass and

microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in

bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture.”

In other words…osteoporosis causes widespread weakening of the bones which causes them to break more easily.

Osteoporosis vs. Osteoarthritis

Many people mistake osteoporosis with osteoarthritis, but they are quite different. Osteoporosis results from the loss of healthy bone. Contrary to what many believe, osteoporosis does not cause pain unless there is an associated bone fracture.

Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is commonly painful and results from deterioration of the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of bones. Patients can also experience swelling and reduced range of motion of the affected joints.

Osteoporosis Risk Factors

There are several risk factors associated with the development of osteoporosis. Some risk factors can’t be changed, for instance age, ethnicity, or genetic predisposition. But, most of the other risk factors can be avoided or corrected. These factors include:

  1. · Sedentary lifestyle

  2. · Drinking too much alcohol

  3. · Smoking

  4. · Unhealthy diet without enough nutrients

  5. · Not getting enough sleep

  6. · Being underweight

  7. · Being overweight

  8. · Being in menopause without using hormone replacement therapy

  9. · Taking certain prescription drugs, especially steroids and stomach acid reducing medications

If you’re wondering if you're at risk for developing osteoporosis, use this risk calculator to get a general idea of where you stand.

Diagnosing Osteoporosis

The standard diagnostic tool used to screen for osteoporosis known as a DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan. A DEXA scan is basically a sophisticated type of x-ray which offers a simple, non-invasive way to quickly assess bone mineral density and body composition.