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What is Osteoporosis?

Got milk?† If you didn't get enough as a youngster you may be at increased risk for osteoporosis, a debilitating disease where bone is lost and fracture risk increases.† We all know an Aunt Tillie who fell and had a hip fracture.† What we don't realize is that she probably had osteoporosis and that after her hip fracture, she has a one in five chance of dying within a year and a one in four chance of being unable to live independently.

Inadequate calcium intake is only a small part of the osteoporosis story.† The greatest risk for osteoporosis is estrogen loss, particularly for women going through menopause.† In fact, osteoporosis is much more common in women than men.† Other risk factors include lack of exercise, smoking, taking steroids or thyroid medication, or any estrogen deficiency.

The good news about osteoporosis is that there are now several good treatments and preventive measures.† Get adequate calcium, exercise, eat properly, review your medications with your physician, and consider estrogen replacement therapy, or one of the several other medications now available.† Early diagnostic testing is strongly recommended for women at risk. For more information, click here.


Created: 9/24/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.


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