What is osteoporosis
How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
There are a variety of tests available which help screen for osteoporosis or osteopenia, but one reliable method is a bone density test which helps:
- Detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs
- Predict your chances of fracturing in the future
- Determine your rate of bone loss and/or monitor the effects of treatment if the test is repeated at intervals of a year or more.
You can have a bone density test done at Women & Infants by calling 401-274-1122, extension 47040. Evening appointments are available for your convenience. A doctor's order is required for a bone density test. To find a doctor, please call our Physician Referral line at 1-800-921-9299 or check our Find a Doctor. Women & Infants also offers the Menopause Program to promote the health and quality of life for all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging.
How to keep bones healthy?
A healthy lifestyle is important for keeping bones strong. The three major keys to prevention are:
- Diet - Make sure you have an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D in your diet. The recommended daily allowance of calcium is 1200mg-1500mg. Vitamin D helps promote the body's ability to absorb dietary calcium. The main source of dietary calcium and vitamin D is in dairy products. For example, an 8-ounce glass of whole or skim milk contains 300mg of calcium, one-third the recommended daily allowance.
- Exercise - Weight-bearing exercises such as walking or jogging and resistance training 2-3 times a week are beneficial. The advantages of exercise last only as long as you maintain the exercise program. Exercise alone cannot prevent or cure osteoporosis.
- Estrogen & Alendronate - Both estrogen and alendronate are recognized as components of osteoporosis prevention and/or treatment. Women who have regular menstrual cycles enjoy the natural hormonal protection of their own body's estrogen. Young women without menses, post-menopausal or women who had their ovaries removed before the age of 50 may wish to discuss the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with their physician.
- Alcohol - Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol leeches calcium, thus reducing bone strength.
- Smoking - If you smoke, quit. Smoking reduces the blood supply to bones, and nicotine slows the production of bone-forming cells.