Here are some reliable sources that can provide more information on osteoporosis.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation offers a free kit for men entitled "Bone Wise Strong Bones for Life." It is available by writing to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, P.O. Box 96616, Dept. MQ, Washington, DC 20077
A wealth of information and patient stories are available on the International Osteoporosis Foundation Web site at http://www.osteofound.org/
Here are definitions of medical terms related to osteoporosis.
Bone mineral density (BMD) test: A low-dose X-ray examination of the bones, used to assess bone health
Calcitonin: A hormone that may decrease the rate of bone removal; sometimes used in the treatment of osteoporosis
Calcium: A chemical element important for bone formation
Compression fracture of spine: A fracture in one of the spinal vertebral bodies; when this happens, the usual rectangular shape of the bone becomes compressed and distorted
Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to osteoporosis.
Here are some frequently asked questions related to osteoporosis.
Q: I've been allergic to milk since infancy. Do I have any hope of avoiding osteoporosis?
The good news is that almost everyone with osteoporosis can be treated successfully. The newer medications on the market today (described in How You Can Prevent Osteoporosis) [hyperlink to that section] are considered breakthroughs in the treatment of osteoporosis. But treatment begins after the diagnosis, which is quick and easy with your bone density test -- before the first fracture.
Preventive measures may reduce or stop bone loss.
The earlier these measures are begun, the more effective the results. If you suspect you're at risk for osteoporosis, it's wise to address it now, before a bone fracture occurs.
Preventing osteoporosis involves making a few changes in your diet, getting enough exercise, and considering whether the available medication is right for you.
If your health care provider thinks that you may have or may be at risk for osteoporosis, you may need a bone mineral density (BMD) test (also referred to as a bone density test), which can detect osteoporosis and allow effective treatment to start.
A BMD test can help your physician confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis even before broken bones happen. The test can help in several ways:
Osteoporosis alone does not produce any symptoms. Most people with this condition are unaware that their bones are thinning until they experience a fracture.
The good news is that a simple imaging procedure, called a bone mineral density (BMD) test, can detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs.
Osteoporosis And Fractures
Some people are more likely than others to develop osteoporosis.
There is no single cause of osteoporosis.
Our bodies constantly build new bone and remove older bone. In childhood, more bone is built than removed, and so the bones grow in size. After age 30 or 40, however, the cells that build new bone do not keep up with those that remove bone. The total amount of bone then decreases, and osteoporosis may develop as a result.
The average rate of bone loss in men, and in women who have not yet reached menopause, is small. But after menopause, bone loss in women accelerates to an average of one to two percent a year.