Innovative technology and specialized medication offer new options for postmenopausal women who may be at risk for breaking bones. Specialized software used in conjunction with DXA technology at the Women’s Diagnostic Centers of Doylestown Hospital is helping to guide treatment of women with osteopenia, characterized by mild to moderate, rather than severe, bone loss (osteoporosis). Osteopenia is more common than osteoporosis, and may require medication to prevent further loss of bone density.
The FRAX® fracture risk assessment tool, developed by the World Health Organization, integrates a woman’s personal risk factors for fracture (i.e., smoking, family history, etc.) with her hip bone density score to give a 10-year probability of fracture.
“The FRAX tool helps us decide which patients with osteopenia should be started on medication now, and which can be monitored for the time being,” says Eileen Engle, MD, Medical Director of Women’s Services, Doylestown Hospital. “The information used in the calculation is specific to the woman, so we have a clearer picture of her personal fracture risk.”
If medication is required, there are a variety of options including a twice-yearly injection appropriate for women who can’t use other osteoporosis medicines or for whom other medicines didn’t work. Ask your doctor what’s best.
Reduce Your Risk for Brittle Bones
Starting at menopause, declining levels of estrogen can lead to significant bone loss and leave you vulnerable to fracture. But you can reduce your risk:
- Get enough calcium (1,000–1,500 milligrams) and vitamin D3 (800–1,000 International Units) in your daily diet or in a supplement.
- Do weight-bearing exercises; walk or train using light free weights.
- Talk to your doctor to determine your personal risk for bone loss.
- Have a bone density scan (DXA) at age 65, or at menopause if you have risk factors.
- Bone DXA scans are available by appointment at Doylestown Hospital and The Health & Wellness Center by Doylestown Hospital, Warrington. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 215-345-2274.