Women and bone density
5/5/2015 12:26 PM
Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease that is characterized by a decrease in bone mass and density which can lead to an increased risk of fracture. In osteoporosis, bone minerals become less dense, the architecture of the bone deteriorates and the amount and variety of proteins in bone are changed.
The form of osteoporosis most common in women after menopause is referred to as postmenopausal osteoporosis, which is attributable to the decrease in estrogen production after menopause. Senile osteoporosis occurs after age 75 and is seen in both females and males at a ratio of 2:1. What is known as “secondary” osteoporosis may arise at any age and affects men and women equally. It results from chronic medical problems or prolonged use of certain medications.
A bone density test determines if a patient has osteoporosis. In the past, osteoporosis could be detected only after breaking a bone. By that time, however, bones could be quite weak. A bone density test enhances the accuracy of calculating the risk of breaking bones.
The text uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are in the spine, hip and forearm for a good cross-sampling.
A person with low bone mass can take steps to help slow down bone loss and prevent osteoporosis in the future. Doctors recommend developing
healthy habits such as eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D and doing weight-bearing exercise such as walking, jogging or dancing. In some cases, medication is recommended to prevent osteoporosis.