Osteoporosis Screenings

What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to gradually become weaker and more brittle, which makes them more likely to break.

What if osteoporosis goes undiagnosed and untreated?
Osteoporosis can lead to bone fractures. Any bone can be effected, but fractures of the hip and spine are most serious. A hip fracture almost always requires hospitalization and major surgery. It can limit a person's ability to walk and may cause permanent disability or even death. Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, including loss of height, severe back pain, and deformity.

Who is at risk of osteoporosis?
The only way to determine your bone health is to have your bone density measured. Risk factors are helpful for identifying people who are more likely to develop osteoporosis, but they cannot tell you how dense your bones are; therefore, risk factors cannot tell you if you have osteoporosis.

Risk factors that increase your chances of developing osteoporosis are:
 -being female
 -a small, thin frame
 -advanced age
 -a family history of osteoporosis
 -early menopause
 -abnormal absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea)
 -anorexia nervosa or bulimia adietlowincalcium
 -use of certain medications (steroids, anticonvulsants, excessive
  thyroid hormones, certain cancer treatments)
 -low testosterone levels in men
 -a lifestyle of limited activity
 -cigarette smoking
 -frequent alcohol use
 -malabsorption problems

Are men at risk for osteoporosis too?
Although osteoporosis is thought of as a major women's health problem, over five million American men are effected by it. One in every 8 men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture.

What is the value of a bone densiometer test in osteoporosis management?
A bone density test can:

 -detect low bone density before a fracture occurs
 -predict your chances of fracturing in the luture
 -confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis if you have already fractured
 -determine your rate of bone loss if the test is conducted at
  intervals of a year or more monitor the effects of treatment if  
  the test is conducted at intervals of a year or more

Who needs a bone density assessment?
Your doctor may order a bone density test for you if you:

 -are deciding whether or not to start long term estrogen
  replacement therapy
 -are taking glucocorticoid medications, like prednisone, for
  diseases such as asthma, arthritis, lupus, or Crohn's disease
 -have hyperthyroidism
 -have recently had a fracture in which osteoporosis is suspected
 -are monitoring the progress of and osteoporosis treatment
 -have multiple risk factors (see above)

What is the accuDEXA bone densitometer?
The accuDEXA is a peripheral bone densitometer that assesses the bone mineral density of the finger. This bone mineral density value is a relative indicator of bone density elsewhere in the body. This device can test bone density quickly and easily in the comfort of the doctor's office.

What happens during and accuDEXA bone densitometer exam?
The accuDEXA bone density test is quick and painless. The entire procedure takes only a couple of minutes. The doctor will position your hand in the bone densitometer, and the machine will take an x-ray image of your middle finger which is used to evaluate your bone density.

 For more information on your risks for osteoporosis and the accuDEXA call:

The Morovati Wellness Center
(818) 500-8484

November 26, 2004


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