Osteoporosis (bone loss) is a condition so serious it makes bones weak to the point of breakage. Commonly found in older people, especially women after menopause, fifty-four million Americans have low bone density or osteoporosis.
A postmenopausal woman over age 50, a woman over age 65, or a man older than 70, with osteoporosis risk factors need to get checked out. Each year osteoporosis fractures leads to 2.5 million annual office visits, and seventy percent of those fractures occur in people over the age of 65. There are testing and treatments available to help you detect osteoporosis, unfortunately x-rays are not able to show the disease until it’s in the more advanced stage.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends a quick and noninvasive bone density test that uses a central DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) machine for diagnosis. Test results are reported using T-scores, which compare how higher or lower your bone density is to a healthy 30-year old. The lower the T-score will determine a diagnosis of osteoporosis. A T-score of -1.0 is lower than 0.5.
Below are examples of what your T-score means, according to the World Health Organization (WHO):
• A T-score of -1.0 or above is normal bone density. Examples are 0.9, 0 and -0.9.
• A T-score between -1.0 and -2.5 means you have low bone density. Examples are -1.1, -1.6 and -2.4.
• A T-score of -2.5 or below is a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Examples are -2.6, -3.3 and -3.9.
People with osteoporosis think that exercise causes bone breakage. However, weight-bearing and strength training exercises are known to build and maintain bone density. They are also safe and effective.
Medical Disclosure: When dealing with bone loss, be sure to consult with a physician or trained physical therapist before starting an exercise regimen.
Written by: Jamacia Magee, FizzNiche Staff Writer