The greatest antagonist to bone health is osteoporosis, a disease that reduces bone density and causes bones to become more susceptible to fractures. What causes this to happen? Well, bone formation is cyclical process; the body naturally absorbs and replaces bone tissue, however for those who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, this naturally occurring process is interrupted. New bone formation outpaces old bone absorption, which creates an imbalance that causes your bone structure to become weak, and in some cases extremely brittle. Unfortunately, there are no noticeable symptoms associated with osteoporosis; those who have been afflicted with the disease won’t know that they have it until they have broken a bone, which can be caused by something as simple as sneezing or bumping into something.
Who is at risk for developing osteoporosis? After the age of 40, men and women both have an increased chance of developing osteoporosis; however, women are much more susceptible due to a decrease in estrogen levels, which generally occurs after menopause. The most important thing to know about osteoporosis is that the disease is not curable, but there are ways to mitigate the impact that it can have on your life. For example, incorporating a healthy diet, along with weight-training exercises can significantly improve bone density. Additionally, prescription medications like Fosamax and other dietary supplements can also be beneficial.
If you’re over the age of 40, you’re encouraged to schedule routine bone density tests, like those offered through LifeLine Screening. Founded in 1993, LifeLine Screening is healthcare provider that specializes in preventative health screenings and believes that early detection is critical when it comes to effectively treating any disease. How is bone density measured? As previously mentioned, osteoporosis is asymptomatic, and therefore, will require a bone density test to determine whether or not you are affected. LifeLine utilizes ultrasound, a non-invasive and painless imaging technique used to measure bone density in the heel bone. But, why the heel bones? Studies have shown that there are similarities between the bone composition of the hip and the heel of the foot, and in most cases, when someone experiences bone fracture, it is usually in the hip.
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