Dr. Tom Miller explains what can cause the loss of bone density as well as what can be done to diagnose and help prevent osteoporosis.">

Feb 2, 2018 — The thought of a parent or grandparent falling can be a scary one, but if they have osteoporosis it can make a bad situation even worse. On today's Health Minute, Dr. Tom Miller explains what can cause the loss of bone density as well as what can be done to diagnose and help prevent osteoporosis.

Interview

Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: The thought of a parent or grandparent falling can be bad enough, but if they also have osteoporosis, it can make a bad situation even worse. Dr. Tom Miller, explain.

Dr. Miller: Osteoporosis is a sneaky disease because it doesn't have symptoms. An older adult might not realize they have it until it's too late and they break a bone, and this puts them at higher risk for breaking bones from a fall or some other even minor trauma.

Interviewer: And what causes osteoporosis?

Dr. Miller: It's a loss of bone density from aging, but it's not just age. It can be caused by illness, certain medications, or too much drinking, smoking, and not enough exercise.

Interviewer: And what can be done about it?

Dr. Miller: Well, we recommend that healthy women older than 65 and men older than 70 get a bone density screening using a specialized x-ray to examine the hip and spine. Now, if the bone density is low, you should talk to your doctor because we now have some very effective treatments to prevent progression.

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