Understanding Osteoporosis: Learn More During National Osteoporosis Awareness Month
May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month. The experts say that by 2025, each year osteoporosis will cause around three million fractures, and the related cost will skyrocket to over 25 billion dollars. Osteoporosis can occur when hormonal changes take place, or when you do not have enough vitamin D or calcium in your system. These changes or deficiencies in senior health can cause a loss of tissue that makes the bones fragile and brittle, which makes it easier for the bones to break. Unbelievably, sometimes just a sneeze can break a bone when you suffer from a severe case of osteoporosis. Around half of all women older than 50 and up to one in four men will suffer from a broken bone because of osteoporosis. While you cannot cure this disease, it is treatable if you catch it in time. The only test that can correctly diagnose osteoporosis before a break occurs is the bone density test.
As we get older, breaking bones becomes more serious for senior health because of the possible complications that can arise. The pain from the broken bone can linger and make it difficult for you to move around and enjoy your life. This loss of mobility and enjoyment can make you feel depressed and isolated from your loved ones. The estimates state that 20 percent of the seniors who have broken their hip die from related problems. Whether from the break alone or the surgery to fix it this estimate seems high. For those that do survive, they may need long-term care either in a nursing home or at home. Osteoporosis can also affect your posture. As the vertebrae in your spine break or collapse you hunch over and lose height.
Kind of scary when you think about what can happen if you have osteoporosis, but while there is no cure it is treatable. A medical evaluation will help in estimating the risk of you breaking a bone. Once you and your doctor know then you can work together on managing the disease, which will help reduce the risk of you breaking any bones. The doctor may ask for various tests like a medical history, bone density test, physical examination, and laboratory tests.
Your doctor may also ask for other additional tests. All these tests can help identify other medical conditions that may cause the bone loss, which means treating that condition may slow down or stop the progression of the osteoporosis. After you receive a diagnosis of osteoporosis, you should sit down with your doctor and discuss ways to manage the disease. Your senior health provider will need to consider several things concerning medications. Both sexes can take some of the same medications, but only women can take estrogen and hormone therapies. Postmenopausal and premenopausal women may need different treatments. Taking into consideration other health problems or if you suffer from severe bone loss can dictate the need for a very different treatment. The side effects and how well the medication works vary from person to person, so your treatment may differ from your friend’s treatment.
The key to your good health centers on you taking the time, and discovering what you can do to improve, maintain, or avoid health problems. Diseases like osteoporosis sneak up on you because you cannot feel your bones losing their density, so you have to take an active stance. Talk to your healthcare provider and get the tests done that will diagnose any problems, and make sure your loved ones do the same. Research and find out everything you can because knowing ahead of time can make a difference.
If you or someone you know needs help with home care in Seattle or the surrounding area, contact the caregivers at Andelcare. We provide quality and affordable in home care for many disabled and elderly loved ones in our community. Call us at 888-788-3051 for more information.