Osteoporosis Program Focused on Getting, Keeping Bones Healthy
Known as a “silent disease,” osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become weaker and can pre-dispose to fractures. Often, a person only becomes aware of the condition when they break a bone. But today, specialists are better able to identify risk factors and develop a plan to help patients stabilize bone loss and most importantly prevent fractures.
“Endocrinologists specialize in helping prevent, diagnose and, if needed, treat osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases,” said Bismruta Misra, MD, medical director for the Stamford Health Medical Group Endocrinology as well as the new osteoporosis center. “But by offering a multidisciplinary team with varying expertise through our new center, our program can provide comprehensive, individualized treatment regimens and preventative care.”
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 53 million people in the United States either have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass. One in two women over the age of 50 (and one in four men over the age of 50) break a bone due to osteoporosis. One in five people with a hip fracture die within a year of the fracture. Osteoporosis can occur at any age, although the risk for developing the disease increases as you get older.
Risk factors include age, family history of osteoporosis or a history of falls resulting in broken bones, previous fracture at age 40 or older, being underweight relative to your height, use of steroids for more than three months, a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. Fortunately, if bone loss is identified before it causes a debilitating fracture, it can often be slowed and the risk of a fracture can be significantly lowered.
There is no cure for osteoporosis and some bone loss is expected with aging. However, there are steps individuals can take to prevent, slow or stop the process and prevent fractures, including:
- Getting enough calcium and vitamin D;
- Taking medications that can reduce the risk of broken bones. These medicines can either slow or stop bone loss or rebuild bone; and
- Participating in non-medical therapies, such as diet, exercise and balance training.
Stamford Health is a member of the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s Professional Partners Network. Learn more about the Stamford Health Osteoporosis Center or call 203.276.4325 to make an appointment.