Osteoporosis treatment and early detection before fractures occur is critical.
Osteoporosis is like blood pressure in that you may experience high blood pressure and not even know it because the symptoms are rarely noticeable. Untreated hypertension causes damage to blood vessels over many years. If high blood pressure is diagnosed early, the destructive consequences of stroke and heart attack can be prevented.
In this way, osteoporosis is like high blood pressure. If a fracture occurs, it's very possible you've been developing the problem for years without knowing it. The bone is quite fragile when the osteoporotic fracture happens. During menopause, you can lose 5% of bone per year without experiencing any pain at all.
It's better to discover early that you have osteoporosis, before you experience any symptoms.
Don't get the impression that as soon as a facture occurs, treatment won't make a difference. Studies have shown that it's still possible bone density can improve and fracture rates can be reduced.
If doctors don't make changes to their approach to early diagnosis and treatment, it's estimated that by the year 2020, nearly one-half of Americans will be at risk for developing fractures.
If you don't know where to start, you might talk to your family doctor that's a family medicine specialist or an internal medicine specialist. Your doctor may feel you need someone whose primary practice is osteoporosis.
A doctor who knows your medical history very well could be your best bet for osteoporosis treatment, as long as she keeps up with the latest information and takes osteoporosis seriously.
Many different medical specialties are available where practitioners may choose to treat osteoporosis patients.
Rheumatologists diagnose and treat diseases of the bones, joints, and muscles. Rheumatologists also treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
Endocrinologists treat diseases of the endocrine system. The endocrine system comprises the glands and hormones that control your body's metabolic activity. Endocrinologists also treat thyroid problems, diabetes, and pituitary diseases.
Geriatricians treat geriatric patients or senior citizens. Basically, anyone over 65 years old. Many geriatricians specialize in osteoporosis because it's a common disease of aging.
Gynecologists deal with many women's health issues, and since women comprise the largest group of osteoporosis patients, some gynecologists are interested in treating osteoporosis.
Orthopedic surgeons specialize in treating muscles and bones. Depending on the surgeon, some may or may not be into treating osteoporosis.
Physiatrists specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Physiatrists deal with acute injuries as well as chronic conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
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