Reprinted with permission of Rush Center For Clinical Studies
Osteoporosis, often referred to as a silent disease, is characterized by low bone mass that leads to an increased risk of fracture. Bones most vulnerable to fracture are the hip, spine, and wrist. These broken bones, and the resulting pain and movement difficulties, can turn an active life into one of disability and dependence. Even if you feel healthy, you may still have osteoporosis. If you have one or more of these risk factors, you may be susceptible to osteoporosis.
|age (past 50)||menopause|
|Caucasian or Asian descent||irregular menstrual periods|
|previous bone fracture||diet low in calcium|
|certain medications||anorexia nervosa or bulimia|
|steroids, anti-convulsants||lack of exercise|
|family history of osteoporosis ||cigarette smoking|
|thin or small build||excessive alcohol(Drug information on alcohol)|
While these factors can help determine if you are at risk for osteoporosis, the only way to know for sure is through a bone density test. The Rush Osteoporosis Treatment Center, at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, is dedicated to osteoporosis treatment, education and research. Our physicians specialize in osteoporosis, bone metabolism and other disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Through medical evaluations and bone mineral density testing (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry – DEXA), our skilled physicians and staff can help determine your risk for developing osteoporosis. The DEXA is a painless, non-invasive procedure similar to a x-ray: a moveable arm is passed over the area to be tested, such as your hip, spine or forearm. The test is completed in a matter of minutes and radiation exposure is minimal. Your medical history is taken before the test. The physician will use your history with the results of the DEXA test to provide an easy to understand, individualized bone health report. This report is forwarded to your doctor for him or her to review with you. If you prefer, our center physician can discuss the results with you at a follow-up appointment.
We are currently researching causes and treatments for osteoporosis. Our Center for Clinical Studies, along with the Rush University Rheumatologists, has been selected to conduct clinical trials on the newest osteoporosis medications, and our own departmental studies evaluate the effects of certain medications on bone density. We also conduct clinical trials on new medications for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, Sjogren’s Syndrome (dry eyes), and lupus. In addition, we do academic research not involving medications such as our studies on the genetics of generalized osteoarthritis of the hand and on the effects of foot orthotics on dynamic knee function. The results of these studies may provide future treatment options for you and others.