Osteoporosis And What You Should Know About Bone Health

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Rachel Decker, NP was here from LDS Hospital to talk about Osteoporosis and bone loss and what you should know.

Background: 

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and fragile. Weak and fragile bones are at risk of breaking from a fall, or even something as simple as a cough or rolling over in bed. There are usually no symptoms associated with osteoporosis, unless you have a fracture. 

Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million U.S. women and men aged 50 and older. In the United States, more than 44 million people with either osteoporosis or low bone mass represent 55 percent of the people aged 50 and older in the United States.

TOSH Healthy Bones Clinic

The TOSH Healthy Bones Clinic takes a unique approach at diagnosing and treating osteoporosis. Our nurse practitioner has special training in osteoporosis and takes a wellness-based approach to the treatment of this disease process. Patients will be given personalized recommendations on diet, exercise, supplements and medications to help prevent osteoporosis and fractures. 

How Can I Find Out If I Have Healthy Bones? 

You can find out if you have osteoporosis or if you are at risk for the disease by getting a bone mineral density (BMD) test. If you are a woman and have reached menopause or a man age 50 or older, you should learn about your risk factors for osteoporosis. If you have risk factors, you may need a BMD test. If you’re a woman age 65 or older or a man age 70 or older and have never had a BMD test, you should have one. 

What can I do if I have osteoporosis?

There is no cure for osteoporosis, but it can be treated. You can help keep your bones strong by exercising, getting enough calcium and vitamin D and not smoking. These are important lifelong habits, but it’s never too early (or too late!) to start. Many osteoporosis medicines are also available to help treat osteoporosis and prevent broken bones.

What to expect at a TOSH Healthy Bones appointment:

  • Thorough history and physical exam by a nurse practitioner that is specific to bone health
  • Dietary assessment by a nurse practitioner or registered dietician with dietary recommendations
  • Fall-risk assessment, if appropriate
  • Establishing risk factors and recommendations on changing those that you can change
  • Bloodwork, if appropriate
  • Ordering of imaging, such as bone mineral density testing or x-rays, if appropriate
  • Individualized exercise and activity recommendations
  • Medication and supplement recommendations
  • Close follow-up with your primary care provider
  • Referrals to specialists, if needed

Visit www.IntermountainHealthcare.org for more health topics.

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