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Keeping Your Bones Strong to Prevent Osteoporosis

By Raheemuddin M. Nazeer, MD, Rheumatologist at Fox Valley Orthopedics

If you are a woman who has gone through menopause, you are at risk for osteoporosis. A “silent disease,” osteoporosis affects more than 25 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women.

It is possible to have osteoporosis for years, and not know it until you suffer one or more broken bones from a minor injury. These fractures can be painful and disabling, and eventually may threaten your lifestyle, your mobility, and your independence.

Middle age couple gardeningOsteoporosis weakens the bones and increases the risk of fracture, especially at the spine, wrist, and hips. The disease makes bones more vulnerable to breaks, sometimes with only minimal stress such as coughing, or turning over in bed.

Not just a disease of the elderly, osteoporosis usually begins in the years immediately following menopause. As we grow older, we all lose a certain amount of bone, but severe bone loss is known as osteoporosis.

The major risk factor for osteoporosis is menopause. You may have an even greater risk of developing the disease if it runs in your family; if you are thin; have a slight build; have experienced menopause at an early age; or if you smoke, drink too much alcohol, or don’t get enough exercise.

Even if none of these risk factors applies to you, you may still develop osteoporosis. The best way to find out if you have the disease (especially in the early, “silent” stages) is to have a test to measure the density of your bones.

Recently, there have been many advances in technologies that can help your doctor to diagnose, treat, and prevent osteoporosis. Early diagnosis means you can begin appropriate therapy sooner rather than later.

A bone density test is a fast, painless, and non-invasive procedure. The testing is based on the same technology as an X-ray, but involves less radiation than you would be exposed to if you flew a plane from Chicago to California. The cost of the test is covered by Medicare and most other insurance plans.

To keep osteoporosis out of a woman’s future, it is important to help bones stay strong throughout life. There are a few basic rules for taking care of your bones, and they apply to all of us. First, make sure to get enough calcium. Throughout life, calcium plays a key role in maintaining healthy bones, but it is particularly vital while bones are still growing. In later life, calcium can slow the loss of bone.

Take the risk assessment questionnaire to find out if you are at risk.

Good nutrition is essential. Eat a well-balanced diet with the proper amount of minerals and vitamins. In addition to eating properly, regular exercise can help increase your bone strength. “Weight bearing” exercise – such as brisk walking, running, tennis and low impact aerobics – are especially good for your bones.

Fox Valley Orthopedics can assist you in determining your risk factors for osteoporosis with the technology to diagnose and treat this potentially debilitating disease. If you have questions, please call us at 630-584-1400 or click to schedule an appointment to assess your risk.

Remember, it is never too early too late to start taking care of your bones!

Raheemuddin M. Nazeer, MD is a rheumatologist who specializes in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis.

Geneva North
2535 Soderquist Court
Geneva, IL 60134
Phone: (630) 584-1400
Fax: (630) 584-1733
M - F 8:30am - 8:00pm
Sat 8:30am - 2:00pm
Closed on Sunday

Geneva South
2525 Kaneville Road
Geneva, IL 60134
Phone: (630) 584-1400
Fax: (630) 584-1733
M - F 8:30am - 5:00pm
Closed on Saturday and Sunday

Elgin
1975 Lin Lor Ln, Plaza Ste
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: (847) 468-1400
Fax: (847) 468-1283
M - F 8:30am - 5:00pm
Closed on Saturday and Sunday

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Thank you for contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you and will respond within 1 business day. Please note that we are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

For life-threatening emergencies, please go the to nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1

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Thank you for choosing Fox Valley Orthopedics. We value your privacy. Please note this form is not HIPPA compliant and is not a secure way to communicate patient care related questions or concerns. Please do not include personal medical information on this form. Any personal details we need from you to set up your appointment will be asked when we speak with you on the phone.

The purpose of this form is to request a call, request an appointment, or to give us feedback. Please call us at 630-584-1400 should you have any questions or concerns about this form.