Valdosta Specialty Clinic
Rheumatology & Endocrinology located in Valdosta, GA
About half of women and 17% of men over 50 experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis in their lifetime; others have low bone density, which often leads to osteoporosis. Valdosta Specialty Clinic offers personalized care for osteoporosis, including proactive screening tests in their on-site diagnostic center. Find out how you can prevent and treat osteoporosis even in its earliest form by calling the Valdosta, Georgia, office or scheduling an appointment online today.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a serious disease where your bone density decreases significantly. Your body is in a continual state of bone renewal, exchanging old bone for new. However, by the time you reach your mid-30s, your bone loss outpaces bone renewal.
The result is bone thinning and weakening, which usually increases during menopause in women and at around age 70 in men.
When you have osteoporosis, your bones are much more porous. As a result, they become weaker than before and are more likely to break; even a minor injury could cause a bone fracture.
Spine and hip fractures can be especially serious when you have osteoporosis. Healing after an osteoporotic fracture can be particularly challenging, which means that a single fracture could potentially cause lasting disability.
What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a silent disease, so you won’t typically experience symptoms. Many find out that they have osteoporosis only after they suffer a serious fracture. Fortunately, with advanced testing methods, it’s now easy to diagnose and treat osteoporosis before it can cause severe damage.
How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
Valdosta Specialty Clinic offers tests to diagnose osteoporosis and its earlier stage, osteopenia (thinning bones). There are two state-of-the-art tests available, including:
Bone density scan
A bone density scan, called a DXA scan, is a painless X-ray test that calculates calcium and other essential mineral levels within your bones to assess your bone mass. A DXA scan can diagnose osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Vertebral fracture assessment (VFA)
A VFA scan is cutting-edge technology that images your mid and lower spine to look for vertebral fractures. This type of fracture is quite common when bones grow thinner, but vertebral fractures may not cause noticeable symptoms.
Vertebral fractures are a significant predictor of more serious fractures in other areas like your hips.
Valdosta Specialty Clinic uses the GE Lunar Prodigy Advance IM bone densitometer to obtain VFA images simultaneously with a DXA scan.
How is osteoporosis treated?
Treatment for osteoporosis depends on your risk of fractures, something your Valdosta Specialty Clinic experts can calculate very precisely using DXA and VFA.
If you have a low risk level, you may simply need monitoring along with proactive methods of reducing your fracture risk further. These include taking calcium and vitamin D supplements along with regular weight-bearing exercise like walking.
If you have a high risk of osteoporotic fractures, you may need medication. There are several medication options, including bisphosphonates, estrogen replacement, thyroid hormones, and immunotherapy.
Osteoporosis need not cause fractures or disability. Valdosta Specialty Clinic can help you prevent this devastating disease. Call the office or schedule a consultation online today.
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