Osteoporosis

One of the major causes of disability among American women is osteoporosis. Affecting more than 28 million women, it is called a “silent” disease as there are no warning signs or symptoms.

Osteoporosis means “porous bone” and is characterized by the weakening of your bones, causing them to become fragile and breakable at the slightest bump or fall. While osteoporosis can affect men and women, women are four times more likely to develop this disease, especially after menopause.

Early detection is very important in the treatment of osteoporosis. A bone density test is used in the diagnosis of osteoporosis.

Bone Density Testing

Bone densitometry is used to detect osteoporosis. Using radiology, this imaging measures bone loss by sending energy beams through the bones. The soft tissue and the bones absorb the energy and then measured.

The results of your bone density test results will show two scores: a T score and a Z score. The T score will tell you how dense your bones are compared to a young healthy adult of the same gender – when bone density is usually the strongest. The Z score will tell you the density of your bones compared to the average density of someone your age and the same gender.

A normal T score is -1.0 or higher. A T score of -2.5 or lower indicates osteoporosis.

Treatment

Your doctor will recommend several ways, including lifestyle changes and medication, to help treat your osteoporosis. We recommend the following lifestyle changes:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D (by taking supplements, drinking milk and eating green, leafy vegetables)
  • Limit your consumption of sugar, alcohol, protein and sodium
  • Exercise more! Regular exercise (such as walking and aerobics) can make bones stronger and healthier.

There are several medications available for the treatment of osteoporosis, including:

  • Reclast – Reclast, when combined with daily calcium and vitamin D, works to increase bone strength and density. It is administered in just one dose – once a year - through infusion that lasts about 15 minutes. And, the benefits last for the full year! For more information, visit the Reclast website.
  • Boniva – Boniva is a treatment for osteoporosis used in women after menopause. After menopause, a woman’s estrogen level decreases and her bones lose calcium quickly. By taking just one pill a month, Boniva works to slow bone loss by inhibiting the cells that break down bone. For more information, visit the Boniva website.
  • Prolia – Prolia is used in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Prolia is given as an injection every six months and works to increase bone density, make bones stronger and reverse bone loss. While taking Prolia, you should also take calcium and vitamin D. For more information, visit the Prolia website.
For more information or to be tested for osteoporosis, please contact our office to schedule a consultation

Rheumatology Associates of Long Island

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