At least 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and another 44 million have a pre-osteoporosis condition called osteopenia, in which bone density is too low. At Arthritis Associates, the region’s leading rheumatology team diagnoses and treats osteoarthritis on-site in their state-of-the-art San Antonio, Texas, facility. To schedule your osteoporosis assessment, call the office or click on the online appointment tool.
Osteoporosis is bone density loss that weakens your bones. The more your bones lose density, the more brittle and prone to fracturing they become. Osteoporosis doesn't cause symptoms in the beginning. As the disease progresses, you may experience:
Because osteoporosis is such a serious health risk, it’s important to monitor your bone health with help from the Arthritis Associates team.
When you're young, your bones continually wear down and grow back to maintain a stable bone density. Most people have maximum bone density at age 30. But, within the next decade, bone mass starts decreasing very slowly.
For some people, that process may happen more rapidly. For example, women tend to lose bone density rapidly during menopause. Unless you take steps to fight this bone loss, you could develop osteoporosis.
People who have rheumatic diseases such as polymyalgia rheumatica, sarcoidosis, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Behcet's disease often need oral corticosteroids to manage their condition, especially during the initial treatment phase.
In some cases, you may need to continue taking oral corticosteroids for a long time. That puts you at risk for rapid bone loss and steroid-induced osteoporosis, which can have the same damaging effects as age-related osteoporosis.
Arthritis Associates has a state-of-the-art bone density testing machine, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), in the office. The painless test checks your bone mineral density in key areas, including your hips and spine, to diagnose osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis treatment focuses on strengthening your bones and preventing further bone loss. Your treatment usually includes dietary changes to get the vitamin D and calcium you need for strong bones. You may need oral supplements as well.
Weight-bearing exercise can help with osteoporosis. Working your muscles pushes and pulls on your bones to strengthen them and even encourages new bone growth.
There are several medications for osteoporosis, including bisphosphonates, hormone replacement therapy, and bone-building drugs like Forteo®.
The Arthritis Associates team can customize an osteoporosis treatment plan that also includes optimal ongoing management of your rheumatic disease. Book your appointment by phone or use the online scheduler.