As you age, your bones can start to become more fragile, which puts you at risk for developing osteoporosis – a condition where your bones lose their density. If osteoporosis is left untreated, it can worsen and heighten the possibility of bone fractures. Broken bones – or even the fear of fractures – can sideline you from the activities you love.
With both treatment and lifestyle changes, you can lower your risk of developing osteoporosis and even start to reverse the effects of the disease. Christopher Joseph Riegel, MD, and the rest of our expert team at The Riegel Center want you to understand the main risk factors for osteoporosis and how to lower your chances of having the condition.
When you have osteoporosis and your bones start to lose their density, they can become brittle and porous. Having brittle and porous bones can put you at greater risk for developing bone fractures, especially in the hips, wrists, and spine. Should your osteoporosis become extreme, a simple cough could cause your bones to break.
In the early stages, osteoporosis doesn’t really have any symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, you may start to develop a stooped posture and have back pain.
Risk factors for osteoporosis
There are many factors that can put you at greater risk for developing osteoporosis. While some of them are beyond your control, there are steps you can take to slow the onset of osteoporosis.
- Gender: If you’re a woman, you are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis
- Genetics: If you have a family history of osteoporosis, you're more likely to develop the condition as well
- Age: Your bone density starts to decrease after age 30 which increases your risk for osteoporosis
- Hormone levels: Women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis after menopause when estrogen decreases and testosterone loss increases the risk for men
- Bone structure: People with a small or petite bone structure are at greater risk for developing osteoporosis
- Ethnicity: Caucasian and Asian people are more likely to get osteoporosis than other ethnicities
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disorders, increase your risk of developing osteoporosis
- Medications: Medications, such as corticosteroids, increase your odds for osteoporosis
- Alcohol and tobacco use: Smokers and people who drink alcohol heavily are more likely to get osteoporosis since both habits are bad for bone health
In addition, if you have a history of broken bones, it can also lower your bone strength, which increases your risk of osteoporosis.
How we treat osteoporosis
Dr. Riegel performs blood tests in order to reveal any hormone imbalances that are contributing to your osteoporosis. We typically recommend a multi-pronged treatment approach that focuses on whole body health.
If your blood tests do show hormone imbalances, Dr. Riegel prescribes bioidentical hormone formula for your specific health needs.
In order to mitigate your chances of developing osteoporosis or worsening the condition, Dr. Riegel recommends increasing your physical activity, taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, quitting smoking, and reducing your alcohol intake.
To learn more about preventing and treating osteoporosis, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Riegel and our team by calling our office located in Plano, Texas, at 972-382-5414 or by using our online booking tool today.