For several reasons, women are more at risk of developing osteoporosis than men. When a woman experiences menopause, hormonal changes can affect bone mass. Combined with vitamin D and calcium deficiency, osteoporosis can develop. Women naturally have smaller and thinner bones than men which makes them more susceptible as well.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.
Osteoporosis means “porous bone”. Viewed under a microscope, healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. For someone who has developed osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in their bone’s honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone. Osteoporotic bones have lost density or mass and contain abnormal tissue structure.
If you are a woman recently diagnosed with osteoporosis, here are a few things you should know:
Bones Break Easily
Osteoporosis can make bones so brittle that even a sneeze or a cough can cause a fracture. Even if you’re careful about falls, sudden movements can cause a spontaneous fracture.
Change Your Lifestyle
There is an osteoporosis diet, which consists of dark green leafy vegetables, milk, yogurt, sardines, salmon, peppers, tomatoes, and berries. To absorb calcium from your diet, you need vitamin D, which is best absorbed through sunlight. Exercise is also important for strengthening bones. Aerobic exercise, resistance training, and weight training help support bone health. To be completely safe and to make sure you are doing the right thing for your body, consult with Dr. Hicken who can help or direct you to a physical therapist.
It Can Be Fatal
Osteoporosis itself is not fatal. However, a fracture in the bone can have fatal outcomes. Hips fractures, for example, take very long to heal and the period of immobility involved in healing can be longer for someone with osteoporosis. Twenty-five percent of women with osteoporosis who suffer a broken hip die within a year of the incident.
Proper Treatment Is Important
Higher risks associated with osteoporosis mean women with osteoporosis should stick to their treatment plan prescribed by Dr. Hicken. Medication to increase bone mass should be taken as directed. Depending on Dr. Hicken’s assessment, medication may be taken daily, weekly, or quarterly. You can live a long and relatively active life, even with osteoporosis, as long as you work closely with your doctor.
If you have osteoporosis and are feeling pain after an accident, fall, or sudden movement, please give Dr. Hicken a call to evaluate your condition. When it comes to fracture treatment, don’t waste time. Give your bones the specialized care they need. If you have additional questions or would like to make an appointment with Dr. Hicken, please call 435-787-2000.