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Bone Health and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is known as the “silent epidemic.” While the effects of osteoporosis are most likely seen later in life, women should practice good health early on in life to help minimize the risk of suffering from this debilitating disease. Approximately 50 percent of postmenopausal women have osteoporosis and do not know it. This degenerative disease thins and weakens bones as they age and puts women at risk for osteoporosis-related fractures.

Osteoporosis is not an inevitable consequence of aging. With proper diet, supplemental calcium, and exercise, it can be prevented. Among the consequences of osteoporosis are the following:

  • Bone Fractures — If you have osteoporosis, you may break or fracture bones more easily, especially in the spine, wrist and/or hip.
  • Severe Back Pain — Osteoporosis can cause severe back pain that forces you to limit some of your activities.
  • Curved Back — Sometimes called “dowager’s hump,” or kyphosis, a curved back can be caused by osteoporosis as multiple fractures collapse the vertebrae in the spine.
  • Height Loss — You may experience height loss due to osteoporosis. An example may be if your pants seem longer or your waist seems thicker without weight gain.

Memorial Hermann Imaging Centers are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to perform bone density testing through Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (Dexa). To read more about this imaging technology or to find a Memorial Hermann Imaging Center near you, visit our Imaging & Diagnostic Services page.