Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and brittle, leading to an increased risk of fracture. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, although it is more common in older women. A rheumatologist diagnoses and treats osteoporosis with medications, diet and lifestyle changes, and bone density testing.

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes fragile bones due to low bone mass, leading to an increased risk of fracture that can be diagnosed by a family physcian or a rheumatologist . Osteoporosis can worsen over time, often not causing any symptoms until someone suffers a fracture, often of the hip, wrist, shoulder or spine. Osteoporosis is more common in older women. While there is no exact cause of osteoporosis, risk factors include: • Genetics • Cigarette smoking • Lack of exercise • Bone loss due to menopause • Excessive alcohol consumption • Family history of osteoporosis • Lack of calcium and vitamin D • Rheumatoid arthritis Osteopenia is a condition that causes decreased bone density, but not enough to be classified as osteoporosis. Your doctor may still recommend some osteoporosis treatments, depending on your results and risk of fracture. The goal of osteoporosis treatment is to slow or prevent bone loss and reduce your risk of fracture. Generally, treatment involves osteoporosis medications such as: • Hormone therapy • Denosumab • Bisphosphonates • Parathyroid hormone (PTH) • Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) Other osteoporosis treatments include stopping alcohol and tobacco use, getting more exercise and increasing your intake of vitamin D and calcium for healthy bones.

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