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Osteoporosis in Women
Plaza OB/GYN treats osteoporosis and similar conditions affecting Houston women.
Osteoporosis, which is a potentially crippling disease characterized by the loss of bone tissue and a susceptibility to fracture, afflicts an estimated 25 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. Annually, this disease accounts for 1.3 million debilitating fractures, mostly of the weight bearing hip and spine.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis has often been called the "silent disease," because it doesn't produce symptoms until fracture occurs. Approximately 50 percent of women over age 50 are at risk of sustaining an osteoporotic fracture. In fact, a woman's risk of hip facture alone equals her combined risk of developing breast, uterine or ovarian cancer. Some risks that increase chance of osteoporosis include in women include:
- Light-skin color
- Thin or small frame
- Approaching or past menopause
- Milk intolerant or low calcium intake
- Cigarette smoking or drinking alcohol in excess
- Taking thyroid medication or steroid-based drugs for asthma, arthritis or cancer
- A family history of osteoporosis
- Chronic intestinal disorder
- A sedentary lifestyle
Osteoporosis Treatments Options
Osteoporosis is preventable and treatable. Just as no physician would prescribe a medication for hypertension without first taking the patient's blood pressure, the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis begins with an objective quantifiable measurement of the patient's bone mass or bone density. Today, doctors are better equipped to detect and treat bone loss in its earliest stages, so as to prevent the disease or lessen its impact.
Osteoporosis Drug Treatment
Several drug therapies, now on the market, have been shown to be clinically effective in slowing down or reversing the bone-loss process.
Bone densitometry screening may also help provide additional knowledge about a patient's osteoporosis symptoms. Unlike typical x-ray machine, radiation exposure during bone densitometry is extremely low-less than the radiation exposure during a coast to coast airline flight. The entire process takes only minutes to complete, depending on the number of sites scanned. It involves no injections or invasive procedures, and patient remains fully clothed.
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