Girls and Bone Well being Fundamentals

A lady’s danger of fracturing her hip from osteoporosis is the same as her danger of breast, uterine and ovarian most cancers — mixed. And half of all girls in the US who’re over age 50 will break a bone on account of osteoporosis, a situation that happens when your bone high quality declines and bone weakens.

Osteoporosis could make it really easy in your bones to interrupt that even on a regular basis actions resembling stretching, twisting, bending too far backward or ahead, coughing, or bumping into one thing could be a hazard. This may be severe as a result of broken hips can lead to a shorter lifespan, and damaged spines may cause an lack of ability to face up straight, paralysis or, generally even demise.

One in five girls over age 50 will develop the bone situation of their lifetime, so HealthyWomen lately performed a survey of 1,072 girls between the ages of 35 and 64 to evaluate consciousness of the illness in addition to information of screening for and prevention of this frequent situation.

As with so many ailments, consciousness and prevention are key to raised outcomes in terms of osteoporosis, but our survey revealed that just one in 4 of our respondents had been involved about their bone well being.

DEXA scan — a measure of bone well being

Twin power X-ray absorptiometry, referred to as a DEXA or DXA scan, measures bone mineral density (BMD) and is beneficial for everybody above age 65. Nonetheless, healthcare suppliers (HCPs) might suggest a DEXA scan earlier if they’ve a motive to suspect or wish to rule out osteoporosis or osteopenia, which is when an individual has decreased BMD however it’s not low sufficient to be osteoporosis. Widespread conditions the place an HCP may order a scan at any age embrace:

  • A member of the family with bone well being points
  • A latest bone break
  • Use of medicines linked to bone well being points
  • One other prognosis, such as cancer, that would compromise bone well being

Since our respondents had been beneath the age of 65, it’s not stunning that 81% of them didn’t know their bone density rating. Of those that did know, the bulk had been respondents who’re involved about osteoporosis or osteopenia, together with girls who’re taking treatment for both situation.

Of our respondents who had been recognized with breast most cancers and suggested that they had been in danger for osteopenia or osteoporosis, 65% hadn’t had a DEXA scan prior to now two years regardless of their elevated danger.

Eshani Agrawal, 28, is an instance of somebody who has had a DEXA scan at a younger age on account of being in a high-risk class. She has ulcerative colitis, a illness of the colon, and has taken medicines to fight flare-ups that generally have an effect on bone well being. “Since I used to be at a comparatively excessive dose, the physician requested me to get a DEXA scan,” she stated. “It seems that there might have been some injury finished.” She defined that she’s annoyed that her bone well being could possibly be affected by treatment and wonders if some tooth sensitivity may also be related.

Donna Leslie, 65, has been looking out for bone well being points since she was 50 as a result of her older sister and mom each have osteoporosis. When Leslie’s mom was in her 50s, she rolled her ankle and broke it. Conscious of her mom’s historical past, Leslie acquired a DEXA scan at 53 to supply her medical crew a baseline quantity so they may monitor her BMD via the years. The scan confirmed she already had osteopenia. Her HCP advised her to get extra calcium in her weight loss program however didn’t take every other motion. At 62, she had one other scan and discovered her rating had dropped to -2.5, a score that indicates osteoporosis. Her HCPs then started aggressively treating her situation, prescribing annual infusions which, a number of years later, have led to a rise in bone mass.

Just one in 4 girls had been warned of potential bone loss

Simply as Agrawal skilled bone well being points as a facet impact from treatment for different circumstances, Anna*, 69, was recognized with osteopenia after a DEXA scan revealed low BMD scores in each hips. She had been taking a hair-loss treatment that she hadn’t been advised might have an effect on bone well being. Anna’s not alone in her shock — the HealthyWomen survey revealed one in 4 girls who had been recognized with breast most cancers weren’t suggested by their HCPs that some medicines, resembling sure most cancers therapies, in addition to most cancers itself, might put their bone well being in danger.

Anna was additionally shocked by her low BMD as a result of she was obese, and she or he’d all the time thought osteopenia and osteoporosis are circumstances that underweight or regular weight girls develop, which isn’t essentially true. Each she and Leslie have since discovered that train can sluggish the progress of the illness and now stroll often, amongst different measures resembling consuming calcium-rich meals and maintaining with HCP follow-up visits.

Sadly, our survey taught us that, regardless of osteoporosis being a standard situation amongst girls, many aren’t conscious of the prevention and treatment strategies they’ll take to chase away the illness. It’s necessary for each lady to grasp how they’ll hold their bones wholesome and to study extra about bone well being. Be sure you speak to your HCP about your explicit danger.

*Anna is just not her actual identify.

This useful resource was created with assist from Amgen.

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