Seasons Women's Care Gynecology

Understanding Osteoporosis: Definition, Symptoms, and Treatments


By James Heilman, MD (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease in Americans. It occurs when the bones thin and become brittle. This can result in falls, broken bones, fractures and other injuries. There are a number of causes for osteoporosis including:

  • Ageing
  • Low hormone levels
  • Smoking
  • Menopause
  • Low body weight
  • Some medications


Osteoporosis can be a silent disease that an individual might not know they have until they get a bone fracture.  Common symptoms include loss of height and pain. It rarely affects children. Older females are the most common group of sufferers. Sudden, severe back pain, especially in older women, may be a sign of Osteoporosis. If you are at all concerned or experiencing any symptoms, schedule a bone density test.

The most common test for Osteoporosis is known as DXA or DEXA. This test will measure your spine, hip or total body bone density and help your doctor gauge your risk of fracture. An ultrasound and QCT can also measure bone density. About 80% of bone density is determined by heredity and the other 20% is associated with lifestyle choices such as smoking or a poor diet.


Osteoporosis can be treated with various medications as well as Vitamin D and calcium. As we get older, we need more vitamin D and low levels of this important vitamin are associated with illnesses like multiple sclerosis and rickets. Regular exercise can also be very helpful. The best guard against Osteoporosis is a healthy diet and regular exercise and most cases can be prevented.

Though many people believe that Osteoporosis should be accepted as just a consequence of getting older, this is actually not true. Those who maintain an active, healthy lifestyle as they age will not be troubled with Osteoporosis.  Sunshine and many foods contain this important vitamin. Eggs, fish, mushrooms, milk, yogurt, beef liver and many other foods contain vitamin D.

Treatments for this disease include use of bone-friendly medications, along with what is known as the, “Basic CDE’s” explained below:

C: Calcium

D: Vitamin D

E: Weight-bearing exercises

F: Prevention of falls


Seasons Women’s Care has osteoporosis screening and treatment services for women. We also have ongoing counseling for osteoporosis issues to help women prevent further problems regarding this condition. Our friendly and accommodating staff will be happy to assist you with your health and wellness concerns. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions!