Osteoporosis

OSTEOPOROSIS

A BALANCED SYSTEM IS NEEDED TO SUPPORT EVERY BODY.

By: Christopher Gaffney, Ph.D.

Where are the Top Osteoporosis Specialists in New Jersey?

Find them at the Osteoporosis Treatment Center of ARBDA. Here, a team of expert rheumatologists, with years of experience, work with patients to prevent, diagnose and manage this disorder—providing treatment for osteoporosis in the wrist, back, feet, fingers, and other common problem areas.

Understanding Bone Loss is the first step

Our body strives to maintain balance – this is an essential principle in how we function.

Most people don’t know that we are continually losing bone mass (or to be more accurate – bone is broken down and re-absorbed) AND building bone mass at the same time. In fact, we have specific cells that handle each of these tasks. This is a process called “remodeling.” For new bone to be constructed well, the body has to collect and use certain vitamins (such as Calcium and Vitamin-D) and minerals from your diet to ensure it has all of the building blocks it needs. When our bodies are working correctly, the balance between breaking down bone and building new bone is in perfect harmony. However, as we age, this balance is harder to maintain. An imbalance in this system results in not having the support that you need to function at your best. As such, the body breaks down more bone than it should and doesn’t build new bone well (or fast enough) to keep up with the demand needed. This frequently leads to pain in the feet, in fingers, in addition to other prone areas throughout the body.

Osteoporosis: Some common symptoms

These include (but are not limited to):

  • Pain in fingers
  • Pain in feet
  • Stooped Posture
  • Back pain

Pain in the wrist is another sign that treatment should be sought before fractures occur.

Osteoporosis Screening: Bone Density Test

Like many things in life, prevention is usually the best strategy.

As we age, one of the keys to ensuring continued health and vitality is to decrease the likelihood of fractures resulting from insufficient bone structure.

The primary goal of testing (and treatment) is to prevent fractures as we age. Fracture prevention is crucial because research has shown that, as we age, recovery from these types of injuries takes longer and becomes more challenging, and can also result in many different problems (such as infections).

A quick, painless, and safe test was developed by the nation’s top osteoporosis specialists to assess the integrity and structure of our bones: The DEXA Scan (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry).

This innovative technology examines places in the body where fractures are most likely. For more than 30 years, DEXA has been the gold standard for osteoporosis screening (as well as assessing the effectiveness of various treatment options and diet) for patients throughout the world.

Who should be tested?

According to the American College of Rheumatology’s top osteoporosis specialists – research shows that all postmenopausal women over age 65 should be screened for osteoporosis. Additionally, patients with one or more of the following risk factors should be considered for screening and treatment for osteoporosis pain (if needed):

  • Men or Women who have been taking hormone therapy or steroid medications
  • Women with a previous history of fracture(s)

These risk factors may also be associated with rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, but it’s vital to receive a distinct and accurate assessment from a licensed rheumatologist.

Preventing Osteoporosis By Avoiding Bone Loss

Certain factors can actually speed up bone loss or decrease bone growth. For example, alcohol, cigarettes, and even certain medicines reduce bone mass. Additionally, some foods can make it hard for your body to absorb calcium. Consult with our team of New Jersey’s top osteoporosis specialists to learn more about how to approach osteoporosis prevention.

Things to keep in mind / avoid when possible:

Below are some quick points to keep in mind that might help to prevent osteoporosis. Remember: Balance is the key to success, and even small changes can result in dramatic effects over time.

  • Alcohol: Everyone has heard that a glass of red wine might be helpful for the heart. And while that might be true, alcohol is actually toxic to bones and can be a cause for bone loss. Heavy drinking can cause osteoporosis even in otherwise healthy people.
  • Smoking: Yup, smoking reduces bone mass. Additionally, smoking may also interfere with hormones (like estrogen) and can lead to early menopause.
  • Inactivity: Not being active makes your bones lose strength and become thinner. Over time, as you might expect, thin bones can break far easier. Men and women who aren’t active are at high risk for osteoporosis.
  • Certain Medicines: Some treatments (such as steroids like prednisone), accelerate bone loss — especially when taken for long periods of time. They also decrease bone growth.
  • Protein-rich or salty foods: While they may taste great, these foods deplete calcium (an essential building block for healthy bones) when eaten in large amounts.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine decreases calcium levels in your bones. Research has shown that people who drink a lot of coffee, tea, or soda lose more calcium than those who don’t.

How is Osteoporosis Treated?

First, your rheumatologist will begin the evaluation by discussing your lifestyle, diet, and other medical conditions (if any). With this information, they will work with you to develop a treatment plan for osteoporosis pain to ensure that you have the best guidance, medications, testing and physical therapy to help tackle osteoporosis.

What about other Autoimmune Conditions?

Our doctors are also expert in the care of patients suffering from other autoimmune conditions, offering the latest polymyalgia rheumatica treatments. The ARBDA team also includes bursitis specialists, psoriatic arthritis doctors and other seasoned rheumatologists.

Visit an ARBDA office to consult with the top osteoporosis specialists in New Jersey about medical treatment options for osteoporosis.

Top osteoporosis specialist meets with patient in an office in New Jersey