Bone Health & Osteoporosis Care - Milwaukee, WI - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Bone Health & Osteoporosis Care

Bone health is a top priority for comfort and stability as we age, and it's also important to Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. Bones provide protection for organs, anchor muscles and store calcium. That’s why simple awareness of the conditions - lifestyle behaviors that can impact bone health - may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in your life.

Often called the "silent" disease, osteoporosis may go undetected until a bone is broken, and you are left with pain, deformity and possible disability. Talk with your primary care doctor to learn how to prevent osteoporosis and assess your risks.

Don’t have a doctor? Find one and make an appointment now.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bone density is lost or there is insufficient bone formation—making bones more susceptible to breaks during normal activities. Our bones increase in mass and strength through adolescence and early adulthood; however, after age 30 they begin to slowly thin as a result of natural aging. Both men and women can have bone health issues, but women tend to have more risk factors for osteoporosis.

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

A number of factors increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, including those that you can and some that you cannot control:

  • Age
  • Alcohol use
  • Body weight
  • Bone structure
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diet
  • Family history
  • Gender
  • Medications or disease
  • Menopause
  • Physical activity levels
  • Race

Learn more about risk factors for osteoporosis and take our osteoporosis risk assessment.

Osteoporosis Screening

The early stages of osteoporosis have no symptoms. That's why bone density tests at Wheaton are the best way to accurately measure the strength and mass of your bones.

Bone density, or bone mineral content, is measured in specific areas of the body with a bone densitometry exam. It’s quick, simple and painless. These exams are also routinely performed to determine how quickly you are losing bone mass and density.

You should consider having your bone density tested if you are:

  • Female, age 65 or older
  • Postmenopausal with one or more additional risk factors
  • Postmenopausal and have had a fracture

To see if a bone density test is right for you, talk with your doctor as a physician order is required.

How to Reduce Your Risk for Osteoporosis

Prevention and early treatment play a major role in reducing the risk of fractures from osteoporosis. You can reduce your risk of osteoporosis through lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise and smoking cessation. Medications can also help you preserve strong bones as you age.

Your health care provider is a good resource for:

  • Determining your risk for osteoporosis.
  • Identifying measures to maintain or improve your bone health.
  • Assessing your need for a bone density test.
  • Detecting osteoporosis.

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