One in two women and one in eight men over the age of 50 will have complications as a result of osteoporosis. During the month of May, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH) is participating in Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month by hosting a Lunch and Learn seminar on May 21, that will discuss bone disease.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, more than 10 million American women and men suffer from the effects of osteoporosis. In addition, 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass, leading to increased risk of the disease.
There is a perception that osteoporosis only affects women, but men can actually develop the bone disease as well. Mark Seibel, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at RPMH, says that 20 percent of those diagnosed with osteoporosis are men.
Several risk factors that are associated with osteoporosis, including being female, older age, family history of osteoporosis, low intake of calcium and vitamin D and smoking. Ethnicity also plays a role as Caucasian, Asian and Hispanics are more likely to develop the disease.
“Women who have gone through menopause should talk with their physician about osteoporosis,” Seibel said. “They can lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass five to seven years after menopause, leading to osteoporosis or related bone fractures.”
Seibel adds that bone fractures are nothing to take lightly. 25 percent of patients age 50 or over die within a year of their osteoporosis-related hip fracture. Six months after a hip fracture, 15 percent can walk across a room without any aid.
To help determine the state of your bone health, RPMH offers bone mineral density (BMD) tests that measure bone density in various parts of your body. These tests help physicians assess and develop a treatment plans should you be at risk. BMD tests also help predict the likelihood of bone fractures.
Several treatment options are currently available for those with osteoporosis. A number of medication and nutrition options are often prescribed to help increase bone density and help prevent the development of fractures.
“A proper blend of exercise and nutrition is crucial to the prevention of osteoporosis and can delay bone degradation,” Seibel said. “Cardio activities such as walking and jogging along with a diet rich with calcium and vitamin D will help.”
As with any change in your diet or exercise routine, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your physician for a prevention plan catered to your specific needs.
The Lunch and Learn seminar on osteoporosis will take place on May 21, 2012 at the RPMH Emergency Department classroom from noon until 1 p.m. The event is free to attend and door prizes will be given away, but interested individuals must register before May 19 by calling 325-235-1701 ext. 221.
Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital provides healthcare for those in the communities they serve. Founded in 1976, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital offers a wealth of medical services including: 24 hour emergency care, advanced radiology services including CT scanning and MRIs, outpatient lab, physical therapy, surgical services, swing bed services, patient education, home health and assistive services, and more. For additional information, please visit www.rpmh.net .