It's never too late to improve bone health and take steps to prevent fractures. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by weakened and fragile bone tissue, leading to an increased chance of fractures as a person ages. Because an estimated 1 million bone fractures are caused by osteoporosis each year, the National Osteoporosis Foundation has declared the month of May as 'Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month.'
Early detection of bone density loss is an important tool in osteoporosis prevention. The Grundy County Memorial Hospital Radiology Department offers the latest technology, a bone densitometer (DEXA), to painlessly measure bone density at the spine, hip, and forearm, which are the three most frequent sites of fractures. The procedure takes less than ten minutes, and is extremely precise at bone density measurement.
"New developments in osteoporosis treatment mean it's more easily treated than ever before, so it's important to get bone density assessed, especially if you are a woman over 50 years of age," says Radiology Department manager Craig Buskohl. Changes in diet, exercise habits, and possibly medication can prevent or slow further bone deterioration before a fracture occurs. Since 85% of bone mass is acquired by age 18, it's especially important that young people receive the proper nutrients to help build bones. "It doesn't mean if you weren't a milk drinker as a teen, you're sure to develop osteoporosis," explains Buskohl. "It simply means you should be aware of the disease, and have an initial bone density measurement at about age 50 to determine whether you are at risk." He encourages women to speak with their health care provider about the DEXA scan to evaluate whether you are a candidate for the test.
Contact the GCMH Radiology Department to receive more information on osteoporosis risk factors and bone density measurement. DEXA exams can be scheduled by phoning GCMH at (319) 824-5081 or toll-free (888) 824-5081. For more information on Grundy County Memorial Hospital's services please visit www.grundycountyhospital.org or contact GCMH at 319-824-5421.