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Osteoporosis is a disease that affects over 20 million American women. Osteoporosis is a silent disease that makes bones fragile and more likely to break. Women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis. Some risk factors of osteoporosis include: a diet low in calcium or vitamin D, thin body frame, menopause, smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, being of Caucasian or Asian ethnicity, lack of exercise, a family history of osteoporosis, and certain medications or conditions.

Early detection is key in treating and slowing the progression of osteoporosis. If osteoporosis is left untreated, it can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. These breaks, also known as fractures, typically occur in the hip, spine, and wrist. Although any bone can be affected, fractures of the hip and spine are of special concern. A hip fracture almost always requires hospitalization and major surgery. A hip fracture can also impair a person's ability to walk unassisted and may cause a prolonged or permanent disability.

One way to determine bone density and fracture risk for osteoporosis is to have a bone mass measurement (bone density test). A bone density test uses special x-rays to measure calcium and other bone minerals in a segment of bone. The higher your mineral content, the denser your bones are. The denser your bones are, the stronger they are and the less likely they are to break.

Doctors use a bone density test to determine if you have osteoporosis or if you are at risk of developing it. At OB/GYN Associates of Shreveport, we offer bone density testing for our patients. The test is simple, non-invasive, and painless. Talk with your doctor about your bone health and scheduling a bone density test.