Osteoporosis is a major threat for 44 million Americans, 68 percent of whom are women, and what's even more concerning is that there is a link between osteoporosis and death. However, there are some simple, preventive measures you can take as well as treatment if you are diagnosed.
Fifty-one-year-old Karen Lynn says she makes it a point to be on top of her health.
Karen says, “It's important to me to know what to expect later on in life.”
The Thomasville resident is getting a dexa scan, a test that measures bone mineral density. It will determine if a she has osteoporosis or is at risk for the disease.
Debbie Jones, a technologist at Archbold Hospital, says, “It's an easy test, not painful, rather relaxing.”
The dexa scan is recommended for post menopausal women every one to two years. Radiologist John Carico says it can be a lifesaver since osteoporosis weakens the bones making a patient susceptible to fractures.
Dr. John Carico says, “When you have a hip fracture it makes you much more susceptible to other diseases from being bedridden.”
Prevention-wise, women of all ages are encouraged to exercise and include calcium in their diet, and if it's too late, doctors say treatment is available. There are medications such as estrogen hormone replacement therapy and other powerful drugs can be used in certain cases that can increase bone marrow density.
Men need to be aware as well. Studies show each year 80,000 men suffer from a hip fracture, and one third of these men die within a year. They are tough stats, but that's why prevention is so important.