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A Primer on Osteoporosis Symptoms and Treatment, Prepared by Kathy C. Lynn, M.D.

February 10, 2013 Leave a comment

public domain Blogspot.comAs a specialist in rheumatology and internal medicine, Kathy C. Lynn, M.D., operates a private practice in Macon, Georgia. Kathy C. Lynn, M.D. treats patients with a variety of issues involving joints, muscles, bones, and surrounding tissues. One of the most common bone diseases is osteoporosis, with some 25 million Americans affected by the condition. The severity of osteoporosis is particularly acute among older females, with the disease affecting approximately 20 percent of women over the age of 50.

Osteoporosis occurs when the body fails to produce sufficient amounts of bone or excess old cartilage is reabsorbed within the body. The onset of osteoporosis is gradual, occurring over a period of several years without apparent symptoms. For this reason, osteoporosis often remains undiagnosed until an otherwise minor fall or other accident causes a fracture in the thinning bone.

Osteoporosis occurs when the body lacks sufficient calcium and phosphate to form healthy bones and bone tissue. Aging compounds this problem, as calcium and phosphate, even in sufficient quantities, may be reabsorbed into the body instead of being utilized to strengthen bone. In general, the onset of osteoporosis coincides with reduced levels of estrogen production during menopause in women and lowered levels of sperm production in men. Women face a higher risk in their 50s and men in their 70s. Caucasian women are particularly susceptible to osteoporosis, which is often linked to genetic factors. In addition, Vitamin D deficiency, insufficient calcium, hormone therapy for breast or prostate cancer, and chronic rheumatoid arthritis serve as contributing factors.

Diagnosing osteoporosis as soon as possible helps in developing effective treatment regimens. Diagnostic tests of bone mineral density measure how much calcium and other essential minerals are present in a section of bone. This is accomplished through a low-intensity dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan. Central DEXA scans assist in determining the risk of fractures, particularly in the lower spine and hip areas. Peripheral DEXA are used to measure the bone density of other joint areas, such as the wrist, fingers, ankle, or heel. Peripheral DEXA testing equipment is frequently found in pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and even shopping centers, providing a quick and convenient method of testing. The treatment of osteoporosis often involves regimens of parathyroid hormones, estrogen, and bone formation agents.

A specialist in rheumatology and internal medicine, Kathy C. Lynn, M.D., serves the residents of Georgia.

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