Osteoporosis (OP) affects 24 million Americans. OP has no warning symptoms - the first sign is a hip, leg, or spine fracture. At which point, there are plenty of symptoms and a major impact on over all health and even longevity. 50% of American women will have significant osteoporosis, more than breast and uterine cancer combined. 1 in 2 women will have a fracture. Fractures are not only painful and a source of ongoing disability, they are a risk factor for death from all causes. 25% of women over 50 who have a fracture will die in the following year! The tragedy is compounded when you consider how easily Osteoporosis can be prevented.
The bone mineral density test, called a DEXA scan, is the only way to get a precise measurement of the state of calcium density and strength of bones. This test is important. In general, we recommend women to start DEXA scan 5 years after menopause, and men by age 60.
Bone is constantly recycling itself. Old bone tissue is absorbed by cells called osteoclasts. Replacement new bone is produced by osteoblasts. Most OP is the result of bone resorption being too fast relative to bone building. The main issues in OP are inflammation and loss of bone morphogenic proteins, the tiny control chemicals that turn on bone and connective tissue growth.
There is a specific inflammation, abbreviated as RNKL, that causes the too rapid re-absorption of bone. Inflammatory triggers throughout the body cause RNKL to increase and be released from the osteoblasts which then cause osteoclasts to speed up re-absorption of bone, resulting in osteoporosis.
We have worked with women, and men, with osteoporosis of all degrees of severity - from mild osteopenia to complete skeletal collapse - with generally good outcomes. Feel free to call us for recommendations for your situation: (707) 421-2143.