Brittle bones leading to fractures, especially in the spine and hips. When bones lose density, low-velocity trauma such as a ground-level fall or even rolling over in bed can cause bones to break.
Bones are constantly being regenerated. In fact, every 10 years your entire skeleton turns over and is regenerated with brand new bone. Bodies use osteoclasts to break down bone, and osteoblasts to build up bone. After 40 years of age, both men and women begin to lose bone density; this is a physiologic or normal process. Additionally, loss of sex steroid (either estrogen or testosterone) can cause further bone loss. When women go through menopause, a relative decrease in estrogen levels may cause hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and promote greater bone loss.
Besides hormone loss and aging, other factors that reduce bone density include alcohol use, chronic corticosteroids, high thyroid hormone levels, gastrointestinal malabsorption, cigarette use, sedentary lifestyle, Vitamin D deficiency, and certain cancers.
To diagnose Osteoporosis, the current preferred test is a DEXA scan (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry). This x-ray test measures density and compares it to a healthy young adult. The test scoring is given in two forms: a T score and FRAX score. The T score measures density loss in units of standard deviation. A T score of -1.0 to -2.4 is borderline abnormal and labeled Osteopenia. A T score of -2.5 or worse is diagnostic of Osteoporosis. The other way to earn the diagnosis is via an abnormal FRAX result. FRAX reflects the risk of fracture over the next 10 years. If the risk for any fracture is >20% or the risk for hip fracture specifically is >3%, then Osteoporosis is diagnosed.
DEXA scans are considered very safe and low risk for radiation. In fact, one way we measure radiation risk is with “natural background radiation” levels, or what you receive from Radon-222 and other elements in the soil, water, and air all around us. The DEXA scan has less risk than 2 days of background risk. This amount is less than a chest X-ray (3 days), flying on an airplane (7 days), or a CT scan of the head (60 days).
I’ve always liked Dr. Crownover a lot. He’s always so attentive to my needs/questions and has always treated me very Kindly! He has helped me a lot concerning ongoing medical concerns and with anything new that has come up along the way.
I have never had a doctor care so much about my health considering I have multiple issues we have to deal with. He listens to what I am trying to say and helps me understand the ways that will benefit me and my health.
Dr. Crownover is always so respectful of my opinions about my health…but he always explains and makes sure I am aware of all the options even when I choose not to do a particular test…he makes sure I am educated on my choices and the possible repercussions. He never makes me feel rushed and always spends time answering my questions.
Dr. Crownover and his staff were very kind and patient with Jeff (patient) and me (wife) and more than generous with their time. He was highly recommended and at the very least met if not exceeded our expectations and hopes. He was honest with us answered our questions and explained everything we discussed. In one visit Dr. Crownover has relieved us of a tremendous amount of stress that we have being feeling while trying to manage all of Jeff’s doctors appointments medications and conditions related to his numerous illnesses. For that alone we are very grateful.