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Talking to Your Doctor about Osteoporosis

From the Fitness & Wellness After Hysterectomy Articles List

Talking to Your Doctor About OsteoporosisYour bones weaken as you age, but menopause brings with it an increased risk for osteoporosis. Why? Because estrogen plays a role in the health of your bones.

If menopause is on the horizon and you have concerns about keeping your bones healthy, taking some preventive steps now could give you an edge. Make an appointment to talk to your doctor about your personal and general risk factors and what you can do about them.

When you get to your appointment, include these questions in your discussion.

What are my personal risk factors?

Aside from being an aging woman, there are other risk factors for which you have no control. These include genetics, ethnicity, smaller bone structure, a prior break, and certain medical conditions. Your doctor can go over both your personal and family medical history to see if you are at higher risk because of them. She can also discuss your overall health to determine if any current health issues or medications put you at greater risk. Knowing your risks can help you take proactive steps to reduce them.

Is my lifestyle increasing my risks?

While there are risk factors you can’t control, there are others you can. Those include managing your weight, not smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol, eating well, and exercising regularly. Your doctor can help you determine if you have some bad habits you need to break before you break a bone. She can also go over any stress and sleep issues you may be having as both can impact your health and thus your bones.

Do I need a bone density scan?

After assessing your overall health and risk factors, your doctor can determine if a bone density and other screening tests are necessary. These can provide more specific information about your bones so you can try to make the best decisions. She can also monitor changes in bone density by repeating the tests at regular intervals so you know if treatment is working or if you need to be more aggressive.

What type of exercising will help me?

Your current bone density can affect which exercises are right for you. For example, if you already show signs of osteoporosis, you may need to avoid high-impact exercises and certain bending and twisting activities which could put you at risk for a fracture. Instead, your doctor may recommend gentler options like walking, dancing, and low-impact aerobics. Your doctor should also recommend how often you need to exercise and how long each session should be.

Does it matter what I eat?

Your doctor can help educate you regarding foods which can help with healthy bones and those which could be harmful. She can also help you create a diet plan that will help you maintain a healthy weight which can help keep your bones healthy. If weight or diabetes are significant issues, she could also refer you to a dietician for additional help.

Should I use supplements, medications, or hormones?

Whether or not you are losing bone density, some supplements could be helpful. Your doctor could help you chose the right ones and dosage according to your age and overall health. If you are already losing bone density and are in menopause, your doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Supplementing with some estrogen could slow down bone loss and treat menopause symptoms which may indirectly impact bone health. Depending on the severity of your bone loss, your doctor may also recommend medications specific for osteoporosis.

What else do you recommend for me?

Your doctor may have additional recommendations for what you can do to either keep your bones healthy or work to restore their health. She might suggest physical therapy, certain herbs, a specialist, additional health evaluations, and more. Be honest with her about any concerns or issues you have so she can be sure neither of you are missing important clues which might impact your bone health.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

05-19-2018 - 05:50 PM


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