Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Osteoporosis makes your bones weak and more likely to break. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the crippling bone disease in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Osteoporosis is a major health threat for 44 million Americans. The process of bone thinning is a natural part of aging and cannot be completely stopped. But it can be reduced or delayed through diet, exercise and sometimes medication. Early diagnosis and treatment are very important. Diagnosis is usually done by evaluation of a persons medical history, a physical exam and by bone density testing.

The early stages of bone loss usually cause no pain or symptoms. But once bones have been weakened, you may suffer from back pain, broken bones or notice loss of height.

Osteoporosis usually develops in women after menopause, between the ages of 45 and 55. Men are usually affected around age 65 and older. Women are four times more likely to develop the condition than men. It is estimated that one in three women over age 50 will develop osteoporosis.

Women reach their maximum bone density by age 35. Most women, young or old, should be taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.