What You Need to Know about Weakening Bones
Unfortunately, most people only know they have weak bones after a break occurs. Then it is too late to take preventative measures. This is why osteoporosis is often called a “silent disease.”
You may be more at risk for developing osteoporosis:
- You are a woman who has gone through menopause
- You are an older senior, male and female
- Osteoporosis runs in your family
- You are as smoker
- You are thin or small-boned
Ask your doctor about taking a bone density test if you think you may have osteoporosis or are concerned about developing the disease.This quick and safe test checks the strength of your bones. It will allow your doctor to diagnose osteoporosis.
If you have osteoporosis, your doctor can help you treat or slow the progression of the disease. You can take medicine to help treat or prevent bone loss. Some treatments include calcium, vitamins, and possibly other prescription medicines. It is normal for healthy bones to break down and rebuild continuously. With age, bones break down faster and bones deteriorate and become weaker. The medications will slow bone breakdown, maintain bone density and decrease the risk of breaking a bone as a result of osteoporosis.2
Winter hazards like icy sidewalks can pose a risk for falling and bone fracture. You can take simple measures during this time of year to help prevent falls, like walking slowly and using handrails. Learn more about keeping your bones intact during the icy days of winter here.
If you don’t yet have osteoporosis, you should still be concerned about your bone health and bones loss. Bone loss can lead to low bone density, also called osteopenia and weakness of the bone. There are a few things you can do to improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis:
- Make sure you’re getting the proper amount of calcium and vitamin D
- Exercise regularly, with special attention to weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises
- Limit alcohol and don’t smoke
- Talk to your doctor about your risk of developing the disease
Call your primary care doctor right away if you suffer a broken bone. Your doctor may be able to help you make your bones stronger. This can lower your chances for future breaks. If you already suffered a broken bone, you may have gone to the hospital or to a surgeon to have the bone fixed. Be sure to follow-up with your doctor, too! Do not let this silent disease affect your bones health! Talk to your doctor. Make a plan to keep your bones as healthy as possible.
MEDICAID MEMBER CONTACT INFORMATION
Toll Free Numbers
Member and Provider Services 1-800-392-1147
Family Health Council 1-800-532-9465
Health Choices 1-800-440-3989
MEDICARE ASSURED MEMBER CONTACT INFORMATION
Toll Free Numbers
North Carolina: 1-855-847-6430
8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Eastern Time
7 Days a week from October 1 through March 31.
*From April 1 through September 30 our business hours are 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.