Bones are the foundation of the human body. When our bones hurt or are out of commission, your quality of life quickly decreases. That is why it is so critical to be concerned with the condition of your bone health. Almost every person has broken a bone at least once in their lifetime and is aware of the frustration that comes with being incapacitated, but what about the changes that occur in bones as you age?
People are often concerned with their physical appearance and the health of organs like the heart and liver. While this is equally important, not taking the proper precautions to protect your bones will have serious effects as you become older. Men and women will both experience the loss of bone density throughout their respective lifetimes but the effects are quite different for both genders.]
Bone Health for Men and Women
Women typically suffer from bone degeneration at a rate four times higher than their male counterparts. For women, the common cause of bone density loss is related to the effects of menopause. The body needs estrogen to maintain bone density and when women experience the hormonal change of menopause, they begin losing estrogen. Men need estrogen as well to keep their bone health at its peak and their body creates smaller amounts of estrogen.
Although men do not go through as severe as of a hormonal change as women, they do lose testosterone as they age and thus, lose bone density. Women also typically live longer than men so they have a greater chance of developing bone density loss.
Other Causes for Bone Density Loss
These are the primary reasons for loss of bone density but there are other causes. Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can cause a loss of bone mass as well as lifestyle choices such as smoking or lack of exercise. For men in particular, certain drugs that treat prostate cancer and seizures can also cause bone loss.
If you are getting older and are concerned with the state of your bone health, there are a few solutions you should be researching. Medical imaging procedures can provide you with invaluable information about your bone health. Osteoporosis affects over 40 million Americans, both male and female, and having procedures like X-rays and MRIs can be extremely beneficial in preventing debilitating injury and finding medication to assist with bone density.
MRIs or magnetic imaging resonance, uses magnetized equipment and computer technology to examine joint and musculoskeletal disorders in the body. In addition, MRIs are also proficient in examining soft tissue like tendons, ligaments and cartilage. As these are the support system for the bones, they need attention as well. MRIs are the best choice if you experiencing a decrease in mobility and spinal difficulties.
X-rays are another common medical imaging procedure that your doctor will likely prescribed if you are experiencing a loss of bone density. When you have decreased bone density, small fractures and breaks can be common, so having X-rays performed with regularity is recommended. X-rays are also the preferred method for determining conditions like bone cancer.
If you are over the age of 50 and experiencing pain or decreased mobility in your bones or joints, speak to you doctor about ordering an MRI and X-ray imaging procedure performed so you can see if you need further medical assistance.
Our Doctors Imaging center is for Radiologists concerned with patient care. If you’re looking for New Orleans, Louisiana imaging exams, then schedule your appointment online today, or call us at 504-883-8111.