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.
A DeXA bone 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.