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Osteoporosis (porous bone) is a silent disease that often occurs without symptoms.

Women can lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass in the five to seven years following menopause, but osteoporosis can strike at any age.

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

You may be at risk for osteoporosis, if you:
  • Are post-menopausal
  • Weigh less than 127 pounds
  • Have broken bones as an adult
  • Have a mother or sister with a history of broken bones as an adult
  • Have a diet low in dairy and other calcium-rich foods
  • Get little or no exercise
  • Currently smoke or have smoked in the past
  • Consume three or more alcoholic beverages daily

How to Prevent Weak Bones

If you worry about getting osteoporosis, these are some suggestions for building strong bones:

  • Get enough calcium each day
  • Get enough vitamin D each day
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get regular exercise, keep moving
  • Don't smoke
  • Make your home safe by reducing the chance of falling
  • Talk to your health provider about taking medicines to treat bone loss

MaineGenerals's imaging department offers a "DEXA" test at our Augusta, Thayer, FirstPark and Winthrop locations.

The DEXA scan is considered the gold standard of osteoporosis assessment.

This exam predicts the risk of fractures by measuring the density of your bones at the spine and hip. It is a painless test and only takes a few minutes.

Talk to your health care provider about osteoporosis prevention and ask how you can receive a DEXA scan.