November is Osteoporosis month! In case you’re not familiar with the condition, osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones, causing them to become fragile and increases their chances of fracturing. The bones in our hips, spine, and wrists are particularly vulnerable to breaking when osteoporosis takes hold.
Osteoporosis is a global phenomenon that affects both men and women, though is more likely to affect women in their older years. In the United States, millions of people deal with the pain associated with this disease on a constant basis. The key to treatment is catching osteoporosis in its early stages and learning how to both limit its spread and manage the pain associated with the condition.
Although osteoporosis can affect both men and women, is not limited to any one part of the world, and tends to affect older women most, the central risk factor for the disease is genetics. In other words, if the people in your family have suffered from osteoporosis, there is an increased chance that you will be forced to deal with this disease.
People (and especially women moving past middle age) should have candid conversations with their family members about past history of osteoporosis. Should there be any indication that the disease has affected the family in the past, patients should discuss the matter with their family physician and explore testing for osteoporosis.