What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by porous or sponge-like bones. Osteoporosis can occur for a variety of reasons—the aging process, family history, early menopause (before age 40), metabolic diseases, smoking and long term use of steroid-based medications.
Osteoporosis can cause fractures of the wrist and hip and compression fractures of the spine as women and men age, negatively affecting the quality of life of millions of Americans. Women have a higher risk and frequency of osteoporosis, with approximately 10 million American women affected.
How do you know if you have Osteoporosis?
Given that most women live approximately 30 years beyond menopause, it's important that women know what their risk for fractures due to osteoporosis may be. By the time some women are 65 years of age, they have lost half of their bone mass.
RMH Women’s health focus offers two types of bone health assessments. Both are non-invasive and painless:
- Achilles Heel Peripheral Ultrasonmeter is a self-referred, quick, low-cost screening that’s conducted on the heel and shows if the bone is in the normal range, low-bone mass (osteopenia) or osteoporosis range. Bone health and osteoporosis education provided by a nurse educator is part of the service. When the score is in the osteopenia or osteoporosis range, women are encouraged to talk with their physician about obtaining a DeXA scan for a precise diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
- DeXA scan is the “gold standard” for osteoporosis diagnosis, examines the central bone density of your hip and spine. A physician’s referral and prescription are necessary to have a DeXA scan.
Are you at risk for Bone Loss and Osteoporosis?
Take this online quiz to learn more about osteoporosis, your risk for developing it and health changes you can make. Be sure to discuss your bone health at your next physician appointment.