Theresa R Benecki, MD
Gynecologist located in Brick, NJ
Osteoporosis is a serious bone disease that affects about 8 million women in the United States. The chronic condition increases your risk of fractures that may lead to serious health problems and disability. To improve bone health, Theresa Benecki, MD, at Pineland Associates in Brick, New Jersey, specializes in diagnosing and treating osteoporosis in women. Call the office, or book an appointment online today.
Osteoporosis Q & A
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes weak, brittle bones that are more susceptible to fractures. People with osteoporosis may develop a fracture from mild stresses such as sneezing or coughing.
Throughout your entire life, your body is constantly breaking down and rebuilding your skeleton, with new bone cells regularly replacing old bone cells. As you get older, the rate of bone reconstruction slows down.
Osteoporosis occurs when the removal of old bone cells outpaces the placement of new bone cells. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it’s more common in women.
Why are women at greater risk of developing osteoporosis?
There are many reasons women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis than men. First, women have smaller and thinner bones than men. Once bone production shifts, a woman may develop weak brittle bones faster than men.
A decrease in estrogen production during menopause also places women at risk of developing osteoporosis. Estrogen supports bone health and when levels decrease, bone loss increases.
Osteoporosis is more common in older women. However, women can develop osteoporosis at any age. You may be at greater risk of developing osteoporosis if it runs in your family, you have a small frame, or you don’t get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet.
How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
When you come in for your well-woman exam, Dr. Benecki asks pointed questions to determine your risk of developing osteoporosis. To assess bone health, she requests you undergo a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan.
This low-level X-ray measures the mineral density in your bones and determines if you have osteoporosis or you’re at risk of developing osteoporosis.
How is osteoporosis treated?
If you have osteoporosis, Dr. Benecki prescribes medication to prevent further bone loss or promote bone growth. Medications for osteoporosis include:
- Bisphosphonates to prevent bone loss
- Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) to slow bone loss
- Denosumab — an injection that improves bone strength
- Calcitonin to regulate calcium blood levels
- Hormone replacement therapy for menopause
- Parathyroid hormone to increase bone cell production
In addition to medication, Dr. Benecki also talks to you about lifestyle changes you can make to improve bone health and reduce risk of fractures. She may recommend you add calcium and vitamin D supplements to your daily regimen and wear sensible shoes to reduce your risk of falls and fractures.
To schedule your osteoporosis consultation at Pineland Associates, call the office, or make an appointment online today.