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Bones are dynamic organs with ongoing formation and resorption. In a young adult who has adequate nutrition and exercise these processes are in balance. However, as we age, this balance is disrupted which results in more bone loss. Furthermore, women are at higher risk since their bones are lighter and smaller than men’s bones. Additionally, after menopause with decreased estrogen level, the rate of bone loss accelerates, putting the woman at risk for fractures and spinal deformities. Unfortunately, osteoporosis has no symptoms whatsoever for the majority of patients. Bone mineral density testing is the preferred method to establish the diagnosis. Normally, your doctor starts to perform this test after age 65. However, women with risk factors for osteoporosis require testing earlier. Some of the most common risk factors include a personal or familial history of prior fractures, smoking, poor nutrition, low weight, and certain medications such as corticosteroids, and tamoxifen. To decrease your risk, please note that you need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements, and also exercise on a regular basis. If your bone loss is significant, your doctor may prescribe medications that help increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures.


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