Osteoporosis: Understanding, Treating, and Protecting Our Bone Health
Creaky Joints speaks with Jessica Rachel Starr, MD, endocrinologist at HSS, about understanding osteoporosis, what treatment options are available and the best diet choices to optimize bone health.
“Osteoporosis is a silent disease — until it’s not,” said Dr. Starr. She explains that osteoporosis just means that the natural holes or pores in our bone are bigger than they should be on a bone density test.
“When they get bigger beyond a certain pre-defined score, we call it osteopenia,” said Dr. Starr. “And when it gets even bigger than that, we call it osteoporosis. But just having those holes in the bone and having them be large is painless.”
But here’s the thing: even if you don’t feel it now, the risks are real. When these holes or pores get bigger, your bones get more fragile, your muscle mass diminishes, and your risk of falls and fractures increases.
Ensuring strong bones requires attention at all stage of life. Osteoporosis isn’t just an issue confined to older individuals. An increasing number of people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are receiving diagnoses.
While immediate medical treatment may not be necessary for every diagnosis, especially in younger, fit individuals with milder forms of osteoporosis, it’s essential to engage in an open conversation with healthcare providers about steps to fortify bones and prevent fractures.
“Doing something is better than doing nothing,” said Dr. Starr. “If someone promises me they’ll attend physical therapy for strength training and take some calcium, it’s still a step forward from when I first met them at the door where they weren’t doing those things.”
Read the full article at creakyjoints.org