Bone Health/Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak and can break more easily. In serious cases, something as simple as a sneeze can cause a bone to break. About 10 million Americans already have this disease and about 34 million Americans are at risk. Being at risk for Osteoporosis means you are more likely to get this disease. Estimates suggest that about half of all women older than 50, will break a bone because of Osteoporosis. Up to 1 in 4 men will as well.

Breaking a bone is serious, especially when you get older. Broken bones due to Osteoporosis are most likely to occur in the:

  • Hip
  • Spine
  • Wrist

Another sign of Osteoporosis in some people may be a loss in height. This loss can affect your posture, causing you to become stooped or hunched. This happens when bones of the spine, called vertebrae, begin to collapse or break.

During the evaluation process we look at personal as well as family history to understand potential risk for future fragility fractures and/or osteoporosis. By identifying these potential risks, we can work to improve your overall bone health. If further evaluation is needed lab tests and a dexa scan may be ordered. In addition, a spine x-ray may be ordered to identify possible compression fractures. These tests help to determine the best course of treatment for you.

Dr. Akre is a Certified Clinical Densitometrist and trained specifically to read and interpret your dexa scan results. The dexa scan is performed in our office by an authorized bone density technician. This specialized training allows for the scan to be performed using the proper techniques and ensures your results are interpreted with the utmost precision.

Caring for your bone health is a partnership between you and the provider. Regular appointments with our nurse practitioner will be scheduled to follow up on your progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Bone Health mean?

Bone health describes the importance of keeping your bones healthy with the goal of preventing Osteoporosis. When people think about staying healthy, they tend to think of lifestyle changes to prevent conditions such as cancer or heart disease. Keeping your bones healthy is an important aspect of your overall health that tends to be overlooked.

“Osteoporosis is called the “silent disease” because bone is lost with no signs. You may not know that you have osteoporosis until a strain, bump, or fall causes a bone to break.”

Back to top

Osteoporosis is Serious

Breaking a bone is serious, especially when you get older. Broken bones due to Osteoporosis are most likely to occur in the:

  • Hip
  • Spine
  • Wrist

Another sign of Osteoporosis in some people may be a loss in height. This loss can affect your posture, causing you to become stooped or hunched. This happens when bones of the spine, called vertebrae, begin to collapse or break.

Back to top

What is involved in an Evaluation?

During the evaluation process we look at personal as well as family history to understand potential risk for future fragility fractures and/or osteoporosis. By identifying these potential risks, we can work to improve your overall bone health. If further evaluation is needed lab tests and a dexa scan may be ordered. In addition, a spine x-ray may be ordered to identify possible compression fractures. These tests help to determine the best course of treatment for you.

Back to top

What are the treatment options?

While there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are steps you can take to prevent, slow or stop its progress. In some cases, you may even be able to improve bone density and reverse the disorder to some degree.Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are essential to bone health. There are also medications available to reduce the risk of broken bones. These medicines either (1) slow or stop bone loss or (2) rebuild bone.

Back to top

Steps to better bone health

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Improve calcium intake
  • Increase vitamin D intake
  • Get ample exercise
  • Prevent falls
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol intake

Back to top

“One in five seniors who break a hip will die within a year from related complications.”

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.