Osteoporosis is a silent disease that develops over the years without causing symptoms — until the day you suffer a fracture. The doctors at The Methodist Physician Group Specialists in Merrillville, Indiana, offer comprehensive care to women and men who have osteoporosis, helping them restore bone strength and providing exceptional treatment for osteoporotic fractures. If you suddenly develop back, wrist, or hip pain, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Osteoporosis develops gradually as your bones lose density and become weak and brittle. Throughout your life, your body constantly eliminates old and damaged bone and replaces it with new bone.
As you get older, however, this process becomes unbalanced as old bone disappears more quickly than new bone is produced. When you lose bone faster than it’s replaced, you develop osteoporosis.
The process is further thrown out of balance by health conditions and dietary deficiencies. For example, bone loss rapidly accelerates when hormones drop at menopause. And if you don’t consume enough calcium, your body takes it away from your bones because calcium is needed to support vital functions like muscle contractions and nerve activity.
You’re more likely to develop osteoporosis when you:
Your risk of developing osteoporosis may also increase if you have rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, or kidney or liver disease.
You won’t experience any symptoms until a fracture occurs. Healthy bones require excessive force to cause a fracture. By comparison, osteoporosis makes your bones so weak that they fracture when you engage in normal activities or you suffer a minor fall that wouldn’t normally hurt your bones. These osteoporotic fractures most often occur in your wrist and hip, but they can affect any bone in your body.
As osteoporosis affects spinal vertebrae, it causes compression fractures. In a compression fracture, the vertebrae collapse because they’re too weak to support your weight. In severe cases of spinal compression fractures, you may develop a rounded back or lose height.
Your treatment begins with calcium and vitamin D supplements as needed. Your body needs calcium to build new bones, and it can’t absorb calcium unless you have enough vitamin D. Weight-bearing exercise is also an important part of treating osteoporosis.
Your doctor at The Methodist Physician Group Specialists may prescribe osteoporosis medications called bisphosphonates that slow down bone loss. Hormonal medications are also available to prevent and treat osteoporosis.
If you’d like to be screened for bone density, learn your risk factors, or receive treatment for osteoporosis, call The Methodist Physician Group Specialists or book an appointment online.