Osteoporosis Specialist

Doctor Susan Kawakami

Family Medicine located in Downey, CA

Currently 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, a bone disease that makes them more susceptible to fractures. Another 44 million Americans have low bone density, placing them at risk for osteoporosis. At Doctor Susan Kawakami in Downey, California, the family medicine practice specializes in the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis to improve bone health and minimize the risk of fractures. If you have concerns about bone health, contact the family medicine practice by calling the office or clicking the online booking button today.

Osteoporosis Q & A

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes your bones to be brittle and weak. The condition weakens your bones to the point that any mild stress, such as a cough, may lead to a broken bone.

Your bones are living tissue that undergo constant reconstruction, being broken down and rebuilt. Up until your early 20s, your body is able to make new bone faster than it can remove old bone, leading to an increase in bone density. Most people reach peak bone mass by age 30.

As you get older, your body breaks down old bone faster than it can rebuild new bone, which may affect bone density and increase your risk for osteoporosis. Women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis because they have less bone mass than men. 

Does osteoporosis cause symptoms?

Osteoporosis develops without causing symptoms, and you may not realize you have the bone disease until you break a bone. Fractured vertebrae, loss of height, and a stooped posture are other signs that may indicate osteoporosis.

How is osteoporosis diagnosed?

The team at Doctor Susan Kawakami uses a bone density test to diagnose osteoporosis. The bone density test is a low-radiation X-ray that measures the mineral density in your bones. Because osteoporosis is a serious health condition that affects millions, the team at Doctor Susan Kawakami may recommend bone-density screenings before you show any signs or symptoms of osteoporosis.

The team recommends bone=density screenings for:

  • Women 65 and older
  • Men 70 and older
  • Men or women who suffered a broken bone after turning 50
  • Menopausal women with risk factors
  • Postmenopausal women 65 and above with risk factors
  • Men 50 to 69 with risk factors

Risk factors for osteoporosis that may warrant a bone density test includes poor diet, use of certain medication, history of gastrointestinal surgery, or a thyroid condition. Smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and lack of exercise are also risk factors for osteoporosis. 

How is osteoporosis treated?

The team at Doctor Susan Kawakami develops individualized treatment plans for osteoporosis based on the results of your bone density test and how likely you are to break a bone over the next 10 years. If you’re at a high risk of breaking a bone, the team may recommend medication or hormone therapy to improve bone health and strength.

If your risk of breaking a bone is low, you may not need medication. However, the team recommends you make lifestyle changes to minimize your risk of falls and improve bone health (diet, exercise, smoking cessation).

To schedule a consultation with the team at Doctor Susan Kawakami to discuss your bone health and needs, call the office or click the online booking button today.