Building better bones and treating osteoporosis - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Building better bones and treating osteoporosis

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If you are a woman over age 50, you have a 50/50 chance of breaking a bone because of osteoporosis at some point.  For men, it is a one in four chance.  Having healthy bones takes more than a calcium supplement every day.

64-year-old Cheryl Evans has always been proactive about her health.  "I try to eat properly. I have taken the calcium throughout my adult life, I try to walk every day," she said.

Evans says her mother had health problems with her bones, so when she had her own unexplainable fracture in her foot, she knew there was a deeper issue.  "I knew then that I had to get something done," she said.

The first action plan was a bone density test.

Densitometrist and physician's assistant, Staci Boudreaux with Bone Health Central at Center for Orthopaedics, says it is an easy test.  "You just lay on your back on a table.  The scanner moves over your hips and lower back. It takes five to ten minutes and what they're looking for is what's called the gold standard of measurement," she said.

Evans' numbers came back low.  "Her lowest score was -3.2 and that's in the osteoporosis range," said Boudreaux.

We typically think of osteoporosis as being a problem for older women, but it can also affect men when there is a weakening in bone strength.  "I have patients from 30 all the way up to 100, so it can vary across the board," said Boudreaux.

Osteoporosis is considered a silent disease because you cannot feel your bones getting weaker.  "You don't have any symptoms of osteoporosis. You won't hurt, it doesn't cause achiness, that's more arthritis," said Boudreaux.

Evans is still focused on staying healthy and active, which means injecting an osteoporosis medication every night to manage her bone density.  "It has a very small needle and all you do is screw the needle on, pull the plunger out and push the plunger in," said Evans.

She is also part of an osteoporosis support group, learning from experts and peers about life with the disease.  "It just gives you a good feeling to know that there is somebody in this with you that you can call upon," said Evans.

To learn more about the osteoporosis support group and how to prevent future bone loss, mark your calendar for Tuesday, December 17th.  Staci Boudreaux will host a Build Better Bones seminar at 5:30 p.m. at Center for Orthopaedics on Imperial Boulevard in Lake Charles.  It is free, but seating is limited.  Click here to register.

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