Osteoporosis occurs when your bones can’t regenerate themselves at the necessary rate, and they begin to degrade. People with osteoporosis have weak, brittle bones and suffer a variety of health effects. Luckily, at Alpha Family Medicine Inc. in Alpharetta, Georgia, the team of dedicated physicians can treat osteoporosis with medication and some simple lifestyle changes. To make an appointment, call the office today, or make an appointment online.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to become weak and brittle. When your bones can’t regenerate themselves quickly or efficiently enough to keep up with the strain of everyday use, they enter a state called osteopenia. Osteoporosis occurs once the bones have degraded so much that they break easily.
Osteoporosis can affect anyone, but occurs most often in white or Asian women, and becomes much more likely as you age.
The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and plenty of exercise. Some more specific ways to prevent it include:
Make sure you get plenty of protein in your diet by eating foods like soy, nuts, dairy, meat, and eggs. If you can’t eat certain protein-rich foods, protein supplements are also a good option.
If you are overweight, you increase strain on your joints and can be more susceptible to fractures. Likewise, being underweight increases bone loss and also increases your chance of fractures. Talk to your doctor about finding the healthy weight range for you and about ways to get there safely.
As you get older, your body needs more calcium every day to keep your bones strong and healthy. Eat low-fat dairy products, dark leafy greens like spinach, or calcium-fortified foods to make sure you get enough, or take calcium supplements.
Vitamin D improves bone health and lets your body better absorb calcium. You can get more vitamin D by spending more time in the sun or by taking supplements or multivitamins.
In the early stages, there are often no symptoms of osteoporosis, but your doctor will probably look for signs of it at your annual checkup. Once your bones have already been weakened by osteoporosis, you may notice:
Your spine is often most at risk from osteoporosis, as the strain of placed on the vertebrae can cause them to crumble and fracture over time, even without an injury.
Your doctor can prescribe a variety of medications to treat osteoporosis, depending on how your body will react. You will probably need to make some lifestyle changes as well, like adjusting your diet and quitting smoking.
If you have osteoporosis, you need to take more care than normal to avoid falls and injuries. Some of the ways you can avoid falls and injuries include:
You may also want to examine any medication you are taking to see if it could make you more likely to lose your balance, especially pills for blood pressure or heart disease.
If you’re interested in getting treatment for osteoporosis or have any questions, call the office today, or set up an appointment online.