How Dense Are You?

That isn’t an insult but something every person, over the age of 50 should know. How dense are you? The question and, more importantly, the answer could have a major impact on the overall quality and enjoyment of your life.

Perhaps it was a grandmother, your great Aunt or Uncle who fell and fractured their wrist and, eventually, had to go to a rehab facility. Perhaps, it was your elderly neighbor who broke their hip, had surgery and was moved to a nursing home. The fact is most of us know someone, over the age of 50, who have suffered a broken bone or fracture that, ultimately, affected their way of living and lifestyle; all because of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis literally means “porous bone.” Viewed under a microscope, healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. When osteoporosis occurs, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone. Osteoporotic bones have lost density or mass and contain abnormal tissue structure. As bones become less dense, they weaken and are more likely to break.

What is important to know is that osteoporosis is not a “given” just because you are aging but, it is sneaky and more common than you know. It is often referred to as the silent disease because one can’t feel our bones weakening. So, we ask again…how dense are you? If you are over the age of 50, we recommend making an appointment with a DeRosa Medical provider to schedule a bone density test.

A bone density test will tell if you have normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis. The lower your bone density, the greater your risk of breaking a bone. A bone density test can help you and your healthcare provider:

  • learn if you have weak bones or osteoporosis before you break a bone
  • predict your chance of breaking a bone in the future
  • see if your bone density is improving, getting worse or staying the same
  • find out how well an osteoporosis medicine is working
  • let you know if you have osteoporosis after you break a bone

Knowing your bone density is the first step in preventing or delaying osteoporosis. It’s the first step, coupled with a nutritious diet, weight-bearing exercises, limited alcohol, vitamin D and medication (if needed) to insure you have a long, bone healthy, upright life.

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