Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to thin and weaken, which makes them break more easily — sometimes with very little force. Osteoporosis-related breaks usually occur in your wrist, hip, or spine. Both men and women can get osteoporosis, but post-menopausal Caucasian and Asian women are at greatest risk.
Your body builds and breaks down bone throughout your lifetime, but creating new bone slows as you get older. Bone loss occurs when your body breaks down more bone than it's able to replace, which can lead to osteoporosis.
There aren’t any symptoms of bone loss until you develop severe osteoporosis — in some instances, a broken bone is the first sign. Osteoporosis symptoms may include:
- Back pain caused by a broken or compressed disc
- Reduced height
- Stooped posture or other spinal deformities
Treatment can help slow or prevent further bone loss and strengthen your bones. The osteoporosis specialists at University of Miami Health System provide comprehensive care that combines lifestyle changes, diet, and the latest treatment approaches to help you improve your bone health and prevent broken bones.
Bone Density Scan (Bone Densitometry)
Also called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), this painless, noninvasive test uses a very small amount of radiation to create pictures of your bones, typically in your wrist, lower spine, and hips. The test allows your doctor to determine your risk for broken bones, as well as diagnose osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Blood and Urine Tests
Sometimes doctors use these tests to check hormone levels, which can signal bone disease.
Doctors use a variety of medicines to prevent and treat bone loss, including bisphosphonates and hormone replacement therapy. These medicines help restore a healthy hormone balance.
Your body needs calcium for strong bones, as well as vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. Dairy and soy foods, green leafy vegetables, and cold-water fish like salmon and sardines are good sources of calcium. You can get vitamin D from fortified dairy products, egg yolks, and saltwater fish, as well as sunlight. Your doctor may also recommend calcium and vitamin D dietary supplements.
Weight-bearing exercise that involves walking, dancing, hiking, or running works best to prevent bone loss. Resistance exercise, such as lifting weights, can also help improve bone health. Our physical therapists can help you improve muscle strength, balance, and flexibility to prevent falls and protect bone health.
Why Choose UHealth?
Customized treatment plans for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can develop for many reasons. You can’t control some risk factors, like your age or sex, but you can control your diet, exercise, and other behaviors. We make sure you’re well-informed and aware of behaviors that can lead to bone loss, such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol. Our expert team develops a personalized treatment plan that considers your health and your lifestyle to give you the best possible results.
A comprehensive, team approach. Our endocrinologists work closely with orthopaedic experts, geriatricians, imaging technologists, dietitians, physical therapists, and other specialists to provide complete care. Your care team works together to evaluate your bone health and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that improves the strength of your bones.
The latest, research-backed treatments. As an academic medical center, we leverage the latest research completed by the nationally recognized University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to offer the latest treatments — including promising new treatments through clinical trials. You benefit from medical advancements before they’re widely available, provided by leading endocrinology experts who are known worldwide for their expertise. Our researchers are discovering better ways to treat bone loss and osteoporosis.
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