For many women, osteoporosis is often a side effect of the aging process. The healthcare professionals at Embry Women’s Health in Mesa, Arizona can develop a plan that decreases your risk of developing osteoporosis. If you’ve already been diagnosed, there are many successful treatments available that slow the progression of this sometimes debilitating condition.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis occurs when your bones lose mass or become less dense. This weakens the bone and increases the risks for fractures. As the condition worsens, bones can become so brittle that even coughing or a minor fall could cause an osteoporosis-related fracture. The hips, spine, and wrists are most susceptible and fractures occur most commonly in these areas. Other than a slight decrease in height due to changes in the spine, there are generally few symptoms associated with osteoporosis until you experience a break.
What causes osteoporosis?
For women, the loss of estrogen during and after menopause is the largest risk factor for developing osteoporosis. Taking certain medications long term, such as prednisone and other corticosteroids, also increase your chance of bone density loss.
Other medical conditions that increase your risks for osteoporosis include:
- Overactive thyroid or taking higher than recommended doses of medication for an underactive thyroid
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Celiac disease
- Kidney disease
What can I do to prevent it?
There are some things you can’t change to lower your risk for osteoporosis, such as your age, gender, and genetic makeup. A family history of osteoporosis increases your risk. Small-framed individuals are also more susceptible.
What you can do is make lifestyle changes to counteract the risk factors, including:
- A nutritious diet that provides the correct levels of protein and calcium-rich foods, such as leafy green vegetables and low-fat dairy products
- Regular exercise that includes strength training and weight-bearing exercise to build strong bones and slow bone density loss
- Maintaining a good body weight since both excess weight and being underweight can put you at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis
- Taking a vitamin D supplement as directed by your healthcare provider to improve your body’s ability to absorb calcium
- Avoiding excessive alcohol use since more than two drinks a day can decrease bone formation
What is the treatment if I have osteoporosis?
The nurse practitioners at Embry Women’s Health use a multifaceted approach to treatment for osteoporosis that may include:
- Medications proven to slow the progression of osteoporosis
- Lifestyle changes such as a nutritious diet and exercise program designed to improve your bone health
- Exercises that improve your balance and decrease your fall risk
- Guidance regarding modifications at home to decrease your fall risk, such as removing slippery area rugs or keeping floors free of clutter, and bath hand rails
Embry Women’s Health is committed to providing quality, affordable health care. We’re in-network with all major insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare. No insurance? No problem. We offer a simple fee schedule for those who wish to pay out-of-pocket. Click the button below for our complete list and more information:
Words from our patients
JoEllen is AMAZING! Not only is she professional- she makes your whole experience comfortable. If you’re looking for a professional that never judges your situation and treats you very well- I would definitely recommend this office!
5 Stars – Yelp
It is refreshing to meet a practitioner who sees the whole patient and not just a series of symptoms. JoEllen is willing to spend the time to ask questions and really listen to the responses. I have seen JoEllen several times and I have always appreciated how much time she spends with each appointment and her pragmatic approach with solutions. I feel like my health drives the appointment and not the schedule. Finding JoEllen’s practice was like finding a needle in a haystack, a caring practitioner who encourages patients to listen to their bodies and to be their own best advocate.
5 Stars – 10/11/2018
Friendly staff. JoEllen is incredibly kind, patient and answers all of my questions whenever I see her. I don’t feel like I am being rushed when I am there, it is very nice.
5 Stars – 10/4/2018
I went in as a new patient just for an annual exam and Dr. Barbara Lockwood was so professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. She made sure to answer any and every question I had and she made sure I understood everything I needed to know. I have been to some offices in the past where you feel judged but she was so kind and made me feel so comfortable talking to her! I will be moving away soon but I might just have to make the drive back to see her next year!
5 Stars – 10/4/2018
“I started seeing Joellen earlier this year and I have had nothing but good experiences every time I have gone back. She is very down to earth and listens to any concerns. I would highly recommend Embry Womens Health.”
5 stars – 09/28/2018