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Local Health Alert: Osteoporosis

MEMPHIS, Tenn (localmemphis.com) - Whether we're on our feet, or flat on our backs, our bodies are constantly at work to get us ready for our next step.  Our bones are constantly in a state of renewal.


"Your bones replenish themselves daily," explains Cherie Heard, radiology director for Methodist South. When and if that process slows, "your bone doesn't replenish as quick or catch up with itself, it causes it to become very frail and brittle," says Heard. 


This can lead to Osteoporosis in some patients.


"Most people notice that they have Osteoporosis when they have a fracture. Your common fracture is your hip, your wrist," explains Heard. Symptoms are typically silent, making it hard to diagnose before an injury. A bone density scan, like the one at Methodist South, helps to indicate the health of the bone and whether there is thinning. Heard says Osteoporosis "generally affects Asians, Caucasian women, and when you get to the age of menopause because you have hormone changes at menopause."


It also impacts people with calcium deficiency, thyroid issues, eating disorders and patients with lupus or cancer.


Aging and family history can increase your risk, but healthy diet and exercise can help combat the condition and treat it.  Supplements and diet can help increase calcium and vitamin D intake.


Heard says focus on including green, leafy vegetables and talk with your doctor about over-the-counter supplements. She also says avoid tobacco use.

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