Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bone tissue begins to deteriorate, leading to bone fragility and increased chance of fractures. This condition happens mostly to women, usually in the years after menopause. The female hormone estrogen helps women maintain their bone calcium levels. As estrogen levels decline, bone calcium levels also decline. This can lead to osteoporosis.

Worldwide, one in three women and one in eight men over the age of 50 are affected by osteoporosis. Eight million American women are estimated to already have the disease.

Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because bone loss occurs without symptoms. People may not know that they have it until their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump or fall causes a Vertebral Compression Fracture (VCF). Signs that you might have a VCF are a severe back pain, loss of height, or spinal deformities such a kyphosis (stooped posture).

Risk factors for osteoporosis include:
Women whose mother or grandmother had the disease
Thin women with a small-boned frame
White and Asian women get the disease more frequently

Prevention begins with diet, whether you have already been diagnosed with the disease or have a family history that includes osteoporosis. Diet can help prevent further bone loss.

Maintain a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
Avoid alcohol and tobacco use
Practice weight-bearing exercises, such as walking
Talk to Dr. Sarma about getting a bone density test

Bone density tests such as bone mineral density scan can help determine whether you have early signs of osteoporosis. Dr. Sarma will discuss testing, treatment options and medications. Call to schedule your one-on-one private consultation.