Avera Medical Minute: Osteoporosis

Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 2:25 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Osteoporosis develops in people over time and eventually leads to brittle bones that can be affected by a minor incident like a fall. Bones are constantly breaking down and building back up to repair the damage that occurs on a daily basis. Two different cells are responsible for this cycle, and when the process becomes imbalanced, your body may break down more bone than necessary. “It can happen more speedily in some people and slowly in others,” Family Medicine Physician Dr. Leah Prestbo. said. She says there is a correlation between aging and developing osteoporosis, but women are at a higher risk for developing the disease. The reason is the cells that break down and repair bone are affected by hormones and age decreases the effects of those hormones during menopause. Smoking, drinking, certain medications, and other medical conditions can also put you at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.

Identifying this condition is very difficult to do on your own without experiencing a fall or something stressful. The more efficient way is through a bone density study or DEXA scans. There are certain recommendations on when to get a scan such as age 65 for healthy women and men age 70 if accompanied by other medical conditions. There are always exceptions depending on underlying conditions which Dr. Prestbo says is what you should consult your doctor about. Treatment options can involve pills or a scheduled injection depending on the bone density study and the history of broken bones.

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