What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects bone health. Bone strength is determined by bone mineral density. If bone density declines, bones become thin, brittle, and porous, making them more likely to break. In some cases, even minor activity like coughing can cause fractures.

Breaks usually occur in the hip, spine, and wrist. Women account for the majority (80%) of osteoporosis cases, but men can develop the disease.

Ask your healthcare provider!

Ask your healthcare provider about bone density testing. Our Diagnostic Imaging Center offers the latest technology for safe and effective bone density scans.
Bone Density Scanning

Take our Osteoporosis Risk Asssesment today to find out if you may be at risk for this disease.

Learn about:

This list describes common risk factors for osteoporosis. Discuss your risk with your healthcare provider.

  • Gender: women twice as likely as men
  • Age: getting older increases risk
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian women and Southeastern Asian women more prone
  • Post-menopausal women: more at risk especially if not taking estrogen replacement (discuss hormone replacement with healthcare provider)
  • Family history: having a family member with history of fractures increases your risk
  • Diabetes: having Type I
  • Diet: low calcium and Vitamin D intake and excessive caffeine intake
  • Body frame: Smaller framed women more at risk
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol: Excessive use
  • Eating disorders: history of anorexia or bulemia
  • Medications: long-term use of corticosteroids (prednisone, cortisone, some anti-seizure medications; high-dose thyroid replacement medications)

Follow these suggestions to help prevent osteoporosis:

  • Diet: Get recommended amounts of calcium and Vitamin D
  • Adults under age 50: Calcium 1,000 mg, Vit D 400-800
  • Adults over age 50: Calcium 1,200 mg, Vit D 800-1,000 IU
  • Exercise: stay active; choose weight bearing activities like walking and strength training. Consider trying our StrongWomen program if you are a woman over age 50.
  • Lifestyle choices: avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol
  • Screening: ask your healthcare provider about getting a bone density test to screen for osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin D and Bone Health

We’re hearing more and more about Vitamin D these days. Adults with low levels are at risk for osteoporosis. You can get Vitamin D from sun exposure, foods, and supplements.

Sunlight: Your body can make Vit D from the ultra-violet light of the sun and store it for future use. People with light skin produce more Vit D and if you live in a sunny climate you get more Vit D from the sun than those who live in a climate like New England. Using sunscreen to protect against the sun’s harmful rays can result in decreased Vitamin D production (but keep wearing sunscreen!). If needed, you can get more Vit D from food sources or supplementation (ask your physician if supplements are right for you).

Food sources: Vitamin D is found in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackeral), egg yolks, and liver. Vit D is added to milk, some orange juice, soy milks and some cereals.

Supplements: A blood test can measure your Vitamin D levels. Talk to your healthcare provider about this test and if Vit D supplementation is the right choice for you.

Learn more about Bone Density testing.
See Diagnostic Imaging Services for more information about our imaging services.