Five Steps to Prevent Osteoporosis
How do you know how strong your bones are?
A bone mineral density (BMD) test is the only way to diagnose osteoporosis and determine your risk for future fracture. Because osteoporosis can develop undetected for decades until a fracture occurs, early diagnosis is important.
According to Ernesto Zatarain, M.D., director of the Mills-Peninsula Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center, the following steps can optimize bone health and help prevent osteoporosis later in life:
- Get the calcium and vitamin D you need every day
- Do regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises
- Don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake
- Talk to your health care provider about your risk of developing osteoporosis, and ask when you should have a bone density test
- Take an osteoporosis medication when it is right for you
With a physician referral, bone density testing is available at the Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center at Mills Health Center in San Mateo. It takes less than 20 minutes to perform the exam. Don’t wait for a fracture to occur.