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Osteoporosis: It's Not Just About Your Bones

June 15, 2010

Learn More About Osteoporosis Prevention At Upcoming Seminar

As our population’s life expectancy continues to rise, Americans are becoming more aware about the importance of maintaining good health as they age. One preventable condition that is more common in older people is osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. But, osteoporosis isn’t just a threat to bone health.

Moreover, the National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that, "While osteoporosis is often thought of as an older person’s disease, it can strike at any age."

"It is critical that people of all ages learn what they can do to prevent osteoporosis. Not only will it contribute to better bone health, it will also affect overall health as people get older," states Sabiha Rasheed, M.D., a rheumatologist on the medical staff at Washington Hospital. "In addition to experiencing pain and suffering, people who sustain a fracture become less active until they are surgically treated. In turn, a more sedentary lifestyle can lead to a higher risk of infection, worsening of osteoporosis and other conditions like joint problems and cardiovascular diseases."

You can learn more about osteoporosis prevention by attending a free Health & Wellness seminar led by Dr. Rasheed on Tuesday, June 22 at 1 p.m. Sponsored by Washington Hospital, the class will be held in the Conrad Anderson M.D. Auditorium located at 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West) in Fremont. To reserve your spot, go online to www.whhs.com and look under Upcoming Seminars, or call (800) 963-7070.

"The ultimate goal of this seminar is to help prevent fractures in people as they age," explains Dr. Rasheed. "Preventive behavior should begin at a young age, so people of all ages will benefit from this class. We will give participants an overview of what they can do now to avoid osteoporosis as they get older."

During the seminar, Dr. Rasheed will describe the risk factors that make people more likely to have osteoporosis. More than 28 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis, she reports, and fractures are a major cause of illness and death among these patients.

NOF states that, of those who have osteoporosis, 80 percent are women. Dr. Rasheed explains that older women are at risk of developing the condition because of hormonal changes they experience after menopause.

During the seminar, participants will also learn about treatment options for people who have osteoporosis.

"We will talk about what can be done to keep osteoporosis from getting worse," says Dr. Rasheed. "This is also something people who have been diagnosed should discuss with their physician. The seminar will help them better understand osteoporosis and its treatment so they will be prepared to communicate with their own physician and make the best decisions."

In addition to presenting the choices available to people with osteoporosis, Dr. Rasheed will also discuss possible side effects of treatment and pre-existing conditions that should be considered in determining a treatment approach, including kidney, liver and stomach problems.

"There is so much to learn about osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Everyone – men and women, young and old – should know more about it," states Dr. Rasheed. "We’ve planned the class to have plenty of time for questions and answers, so people will leave feeling more knowledgeable and prepared to combat this serious disease."

In addition to attending the seminar, checking the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), you can learn more about osteoporosis prevention and treatment by going to the following Web sites: the National Osteoporosis Foundation (www.nof.org); the National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (www.niams.nih.gov); and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (www.iofbonehealth.org).

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