Am I at risk for Osteoporosis?
If you were to look at healthy bones under a microscope, you would see what looks like a honeycomb. If you were to see bones that are affected with osteoporosis, those holes and spaces of the honeycomb are much larger meaning the bones are far weaker than healthy ones. Osteoporotic bones have less density and contain abnormal tissue structure according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. It is often called a silent disease as one doesn’t feel bones gradually getting weaker over time; however height loss and spinal curvature are symptoms you can see.
Breaking a bone is always an unwelcome injury; however, if you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, it can often lead to permanent pain. The most common breaks for a patient with this disease happen in the hip, spine or wrist area with a break in the vertebrae often leading to a hunched posture, especially with older patients.
A study done in October 2017 and published in The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research revealed there may be a link to delayed puberty causing lower bone mineral density during childhood as well as adulthood. Even though there is not one true cause for osteoporosis found yet, there are several risk factors including:
- advanced age,
- family history of osteoporosis
- calcium deficiency
- And other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.
Women are affected more commonly than men, with one in two women and one in four men, age 50 and older will have broken a bone due to osteoporosis according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Though a serious disease, screening for this condition is easy and uncomplicated. A Bone Mineral Density test, also known as a Densitometry (Dexa) Scan, is an X-Ray test used to detect osteoporosis.
“A Dexa scan can assess your bone strength and provide information about the fragility and risk of fracture to your bones,” says Dr. Sushma Nagabhairava, a family practice physician at Prairie Glen Primary Care in Lemont. “All women age 65 and older as well as anyone with a higher than normal chance of fracture for their age should ask their doctor if Bone Mineral Density testing is right for them. It is a quick and painless exam that can spur treatment and even prevention of bone loss. ”
If your doctor agrees that a Dexa Scan is the next step for you or your loved one, you will receive incomparable care at Silver Cross Hospital. The Silver Cross Hospital Center for Women’s Health has created a unique concept in women’s healthcare that puts their patients at the center. This state-of-the-art health center provides screening services for osteoporosis and breast health as well as the personal care from their nurse navigator for those affected by breast diseases including cancer. For smooth continuity of care and convenient access to pre and post-surgical services, a dedicated breast center is now in the Center for Women’s Health. Complete with fellowship trained breast surgeons, your care is in the best, most qualified hands.
For taking the time to take care of yourself, Silver Cross Hospital offers their patients free membership in the I Matter ™ program, which includes discounts at over 100 local businesses. To schedule your Dexa scan or any of the hundreds of tests offered at Silver Cross Hospital and click on SCHedule Now or call (815) 300-7076. A physician’s order is required for most tests including a Dexa Scan to screen for osteoporosis.