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Osteoporosis is a degenerative disorder affecting the bones. This disease can affect both men and women, but it primarily affects post-menopausal women of Asian and Caucasian decent. As a primary care provider with a special interest in preventative care and women’s health concerns, Dr. Ailis Marrero at Connerton Family Medicine closely monitors her patients’ bone health. From detecting and treating Vitamin D deficiencies to regular screening of post-menopausal women for bone density decline, she focuses on pre-emptive plans to avoid fractures as a person’s bones become more brittle.

Causes and Risk Factors

As we age our bodies are not able to produce new bone as quickly as old bone breaks down, causing the natural decrease in bone mass known as osteoporosis. Hormone levels also play a major part in bone density and regeneration. Hormone production slows naturally as we age and this directly correlates to the increased risk for osteoporosis as we mature.

Some risk factors may increase your likelihood of developing osteoporosis and these risk factors are often sorted into two categories, those that you can control and those that you cannot control. These risk factors can include:

  • Advanced age
  • Being female
  • Being of Asian or Caucasian descent
  • Family history
  • Having a slight frame
  • Some medical conditions, such as thyroid, digestive and kidney disorders
  • Some medications
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco use
  • Eating disorders
  • Insufficient vitamin D
  • Poor nutrition or a diet high in protein
  • Soft drink consumption

Diagnosis and Treatment

Osteoporosis is often diagnosed with a bone density scan. For post-menopausal women and men aged 70 and better these bone density scans should be factored into your preventative healthcare plan. Without this diagnostic scan, many are not aware they have osteoporosis until after breaking a bone.

For people with osteoporosis, Dr. Marrero can recommend lifestyle and nutritional modifications to slow the deterioration of bone density. Additionally she can prescribe one of several medications that have proven effective in boosting bone density. Depending on other health concerns, hormone therapy can also be an effective treatment for osteoporosis, especially when initiated shortly after menopause. Hormone therapy may have added risks that you should discuss with your physician.

Women in Connerton, Land O’ Lakes and the surrounding neighborhoods who have not had a bone density scan in recent years or are in need of osteoporosis management should contact Connerton Family Medicine for an appointment today by calling 813.803.7907 or filling out an online appointment request form here.