Martha Jefferson Monday: What is Osteoporosis and How Can you W - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What is Osteoporosis and How Can you Work to Prevent it?

Osteoporosis is something everyone should start thinking about, starting in their 20s. It's important that we get enough calcium to prevent problems in the future.  We spoke with Dr. Megan Swanson, an orthopedic surgeon at Martha Jefferson Orthopedics, to learn more.

To put it simply, if you have osteoporosis, it means you have holes in your bones. “It’s where your bone had become weak, and usually it’s because you don’t have enough calcium and vitamin d helping to make good strong bones,” said Dr. Swanson.

Dr. Swanson says women - specifically post-menopausal women - smokers, people who are thin, and those who haven’t done a lot of weight bearing activity are specifically at risk. She recommends screenings and check-ins with your doctor to make sure you are catching any issues that could arise at an early stage.  “Generally we want to make sure we screen patients for osteoporosis, and we talk to them about risk factors for osteoporosis and we check calcium and vitamin D levels, and if necessary we do a bone density scan.”

And those checks should start sooner rather than later. Dr. Swanson says it’s key for those in their 20’s and 30’s to get plenty of calcium and Vitamin D while their bones are in the final stages of growing. Then details about our risk should be had during conversations with your primary care doctor.

“As you start to get older and get into your 40’s and 50’s and start to hit menopause, it’s something to talk to you internal medicine doctor about, and especially when you get into your 60s, you probably want to be checked with a bone density scan to make sure you know where you are on that scale of having osteoporosis,” noted Dr. Swanson.

For orthopedic physicians like Dr. Swanson, the ultimate goal is to prevent any harm to patients due to falls, or fractures, caused from the weak bones.

For more information on this topic call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.

If you have a question about your health you’d like to have answered, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.

Do you have health questions? Starting June 4, get the answers every Monday morning from the experts at Martha Jefferson Hospital in our new feature: Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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