Integra Wellness uses ultrasound to detect the risk of osteoporosis by measuring for the bone mineral density of your heel. The heel is measured because its bone is similar to that found in the hip, where fractures occur most often. Bone mineral density is a powerful predictor of skeletal strength and fracture risk, especially when considered along with other factors such as gender, age, and family history. 20% of those affected by osteoporosis are men, so if you think you can’t get osteoporosis because you a man, think again.
Causes, Incidence and Risk Factors
Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disease.
Researchers estimate that about 1 out of 5 American women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. About half of all women over the age of 50 will have a fracture of the hip, wrist, or vertebra (bones of the spine).
Osteoporosis occurs when the body fails to form enough new bone, or when too much old bone is reabsorbed by the body.
Calcium and phosphate are two minerals that are essential for normal bone formation. Throughout youth, your body uses these minerals to produce bones. If you do not get enough calcium, or if your body does not absorb enough calcium from the diet, bone production and bone tissues may suffer.
As you age, calcium and phosphate may be reabsorbed back into the body from the bones, which makes the bone tissue weaker. This can result in brittle, fragile bones that are more prone to fractures, even without injury.
Usually, the loss occurs gradually over years. Many times, a person will have a fracture before becoming aware that the disease is present. By the time a fracture occurs, the disease is in its advanced stages and damage is severe.
Are you at risk?
The leading causes of osteoporosis are a drop in estrogen in women at the time of menopause and a drop in testosterone in men. Women over age 50 and men over age 70 have a higher risk for osteoporosis.
ther causes include:
- Being confined to a bed
- Chronic rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, eating disorders
- Taking corticosteroid medications (prednisone, methylprednisolone) every day for more than 3 months, or taking some antiseizure drugs
- Vitamin D deficiency
White women, especially those with a family history of osteoporosis, have a greater than average risk of developing osteoporosis. Other risk factors include:
- Absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea) for long periods of time
- Drinking a large amount of alcohol
- Family history of osteoporosis
- History of hormone treatment for prostate cancer or breast cancer
- Low body weight
- Too little calcium in the diet
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation
- 25 Billion dollars is the estimated cost of osteoporosis-related fractures by 2025
- 10 million Americans are estimated to have osteoporosis, 34 million more have low bone mass
- 85 percent of adult bone mass is acquired by the age 18 in girls and by age 20 in boys
- 20 percent of those affected by osteoporosis are men
- Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women.
- Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
- A woman's risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
What Men Need to Know
Men get osteoporosis too. If you think you can’t get osteoporosis because you’re a man, think again. Although women are at greater risk, osteoporosis can affect men also. As our population ages, more men will get the disease.
Some facts and statistics
- Up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
- Approximately two million American men already have osteoporosis. About 12 million more are at risk.
- Men older than 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.
- Each year, about 80,000 men will break a hip.
- Men are more likely than women to die within a year after breaking a hip. This is due to problems related to the break.
- Men can break bones in the spine or break a hip, but this usually happens at a later age than women.
What puts men at risk?
Factors such as your family history, taking steroid medicines, not exercising, smoking, drinking too much alcohol or having low testosterone levels can put you at risk for getting osteoporosis. Evidence also suggests that low estrogen levels in men can lead to bone loss. So does having other medical problems such as chronic kidney, lung or gastrointestinal disease, prostate cancer and certain autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These are just some of the many reasons men can be at risk for osteoporosis and broken bones.
How to Prepare for your Wellness Test?
When you receive an osteoporosis test, you will simply place your foot in a painless ultrasound device called a bone densitometer and the bone mineral density of your heel will be measured. The only preparation for this test is to refrain from wearing pantyhose, so that you may place your foot in the machine.