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Why are so many who have osteoporosis unaware of it?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Many people who have osteoporosis have no idea they have it. Why? In most cases, there aren't any symptoms until you break a bone. Break an arm when you slip on the ice, and you think nothing of the way it happened-you know that the trauma was significant enough to cause a break. But break an arm when you bump into the doorway, and it's a tip-off that your bones are much weaker than normal and that you may have osteoporosis. A doctor may also discover osteoporosis through an X-ray taken for another problem. You can also have a test to measure your bone mineral density, such as a DEXA scan.

It's easy to see why prevention is so important: you never see the injury coming until it's too late to do anything about it. The other important reason is that treatment doesn't cure osteoporosis; it only slows the thinning process and can help rebuild new bone. Because your bones grow when stimulated under the right circumstances, you can take steps now to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.