What is it?
A generalized skeletal condition characterized by decreased bone density and increased risk of fracture, osteoporosis is now commonly diagnosed by a bone density scan. Osteoporosis is asymptomatic until a fracture occurs, and is best prevented before it becomes a problem. The most effective prevention begins in childhood and adolescence, but treatment begun later in life is also beneficial.
• Significant cause of morbidity
• Associated with increasing age and sex hormone deficiencies
• Often presents with fractures
• Vertebral fractures are very common, leading to loss of height and spinal curvature
• Prevention is ideal
• Hormone replacement therapy is no longer the treatment of choice in postmenopausal women
• Most people with osteoporosis are unaware of their condition
• Bone densitometry (DEXA scan) has assumed an important role in diagnosing osteoporosis, estimating fracture risk, and monitoring therapy
How do we treat it?
We look at factors that may be contributing to bone demineralization, including diet, acid and mineral balance, and heredity. Commonly, there are one or more dietary factors that are contributing to bone demineralization, and these vary from patient to patient. We will work with you to determine, through appropriate testing, which dietary modifications make the most sense for you. In addition, it is important to understand that osteoporosis is a disorder of mineral balance, not just calcium intake. If the body has the impression that it must take minerals from the bones, adding calcium to your diet may not be the whole solution to your problem. You must reverse this process of demineralization as well as providing an increase in minerals to your bloodstream. Physiologically, the kidneys are largely responsible for mineral balance, but other organ systems also have a part. We will work with you to balance these systems so that your body will no longer leach important minerals from your bones.