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The exact cause for osteoporosis is unknown. But, a number of factors contribute to the disease including:
Osteoporosis affects over 10 million Americans over the age of 50. Women are 4 times more likely to get osteoporosis than men.
Another 34 million Americans over the age of 50 have low bone mass (osteopenia). This group is at a greater risk for osteoporosis.
Low estrogen is one of the main causes of bone loss in women during and after menopause. Women may lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the 5 to 7 years after menopause.
People with osteoporosis may not get any symptoms. Some may have pain in their bones and muscles, particularly in their back. Sometimes, a collapsed vertebra may cause severe pain, decrease in height, or spinal deformity.
The symptoms of osteoporosis may look like other bone disorders or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
Your doctor will review of your personal and family medical history and do a physical exam. Other tests include:
Guidelines from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) urge the following:
Your health care provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
The goals of managing osteoporosis are to:
Some of the ways to treat osteoporosis are also ways to prevent it.
The FDA has approved these medications to maintain bone health in women with osteoporosis at menopause:
Living with osteoporosis includes rehabilitation to return to the best possible bone health and daily living. An osteoporosis rehab program can be vital to a full recovery. The focus of rehab is to decrease pain, help prevent fractures, and minimize further bone loss.
To help reach these goals, osteoporosis rehab programs may include the following:
Osteoporosis rehab programs can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Many skilled professionals are part of the team, including:
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