If you’ve recently broken a bone, you may be one of the 54 million Americans with osteoporosis, a bone condition that impacts as many as one in two women and over 50. At Capital Women’s Care - Bethesda, the friendly and professional team, which includes Dr. John Gschwend, Dr. Deena Kleinerman, Dr. Rachael Cleberg, Dr. Kirsten Beeson, Morgan Wilkerson, PA-C, and Nurse-Midwife Kimberly Severn, can diagnosis, treat, and even help prevent osteoporosis and protect your bones. If you live in or near Bethesda, Maryland and are at risk for osteoporosis, call the office to schedule your initial consultation.
Osteoporosis occurs when your body doesn’t create new bone tissue as quickly as old bone tissue breaks down. That lowers your bone density, making your bones more porous and prone to breaks, sometimes from falls or, in extreme cases of the chronic disease, from minor bumps.
In a healthy body, your bone tissue is continually breaking down and being replaced. When you're young, new bone tissue is created more quickly than old bone tissue breaks down and in your 20s you reach a peak of bone density. As you continue to age, your body doesn’t create enough new bone to replace the old, and your bones can become brittle and weak.
Although early osteoporosis doesn’t have many symptoms, as the condition progresses, you may experience:
Although all the underlying causes of osteoporosis aren’t known, you may develop the bone disease if your body doesn’t create enough surplus bone mass in your youth. The stronger your bones are when you’re young, the stronger they are as you age.
There’s also a genetic component to osteoporosis, as it tends to run in families. Other risk factors include:
Osteoporosis is a chronic condition, and there is no cure. If you have several risk factors, your doctor will order a bone density test to measure your bone mass and may prescribe a medication to reduce your risk of breaking a bone.
Some medications are daily taken while others are given a few times a year intravenously. For some patients, the doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy. Adding calcium and vitamin D supplements can help your bones stay stronger and delay the onset of osteoporosis.
If your bone mass is already weakened, the use of assisting devices, such as canes and grabbing claws, can reduce the risk of your falling and breaking a bone.
Whether you’ve recently broken a bone or have a family history of weak bones, call the board-certified professionals at Capital Women’s Care to schedule your appointment or go online to book today.