“Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease, characterized by gradual bone loss and demineralization, which increases the risk of fractures, which is the endpoint that we are most concerned with,” says Dr. Rachel Kilpatrick, Endocrinologist at Washington Regional. “Everyone could potentially be at risk for Osteoporosis, but it tends to be a female-predominate condition, uh particularly in those patients that are post-menopausal. Osteoporosis unfortunately doesn’t usually have a lot of symptoms until someone has actually had a fracture. So the diagnosis of Osteoporosis can be made based on having a fragility fracture, so that can include a fracture of the wrist, a vertebral compression fracture, or a fracture in the hip. Osteoporosis can also be diagnosed with a DEXA scan, which is a special screening test for, uh, patients who may be at high risk for Osteoporosis. Its important to have screening if you’re over the age of 65 and you’re a woman, if you’ve had a previous fragility fracture, or if you have any high risk, uh, conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis. Its important to talk to your doctor, either your primary care provider or your gynecologist about getting screened, they can easily order a DEXA scan for you. Osteoporosis can have long lasting effects if left untreated, primarily in the form of disability, and there can be mortality associated with particularly hip fractures, so its important to make sure you seek treatment if you have this condition.“
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