Taking Charge

What can I do to take charge?

  • Discuss osteoporosis with your doctor: Despite the fact that osteoporosis may affect one in every two women, three of every four women have never discussed osteoporosis with their doctors.
  • Know your risk: Studies indicate that bone loss may begin as early as age 25. With menopause, bone loss can accelerate rapidly with as much as 6-10% of the skeleton being lost in the first year after a woman’s periods stop. While bone loss may be lessened with self-treatment with vitamin D supplements and dietary and lifestyle changes, treatment with prescription drugs is often required to completely prevent progression of the disease. Moreover, the amount and rate of bone loss can only be detected with DXA.
  • Seek expert medical evaluation: Washington University’s Bone Health Program is a multidisciplinary, ambulatory care service for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of metabolic bone diseases, particularly osteoporosis. The Bone Health Program specialists provide individualized consultation tailored to each patient’s symptoms, bone density, risk factors, and test results. Regarded as one of the premier medical services in the U.S. for the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, the Bone Health Program combines medical expertise with the latest technology to deliver definitive evaluation and comprehensive medical consultation. Instrumental in the development of the technique to measure bone mineral density, the Bone Health Program’s medical specialists use definitive measurements of bone density of the spine, hip, or forearm to insure thoughtful and accurate diagnosis and certain response to therapy.

Can I refer myself or should my doctor refer me?

While self-referrals are accepted, the medical team prefers to work closely with each patient’s primary physician to augment his/her care and to recommend scientifically approved plans of treatment.

You are invited to call The Bone Health Program to discuss your situation at 314-454-7775.

What questions should I ask my doctor ?

For teenagers and young adults

  • How do I build strong bones?
  • How does diet affect my bones?
  • How much calcium do I need?
  • What exercise is best?
  • How do smoking and alcohol affect my bones?
  • What medications affect my bones?

For middle-age adults

  • Am I at increased risk for osteoporosis?
  • Should I have a bone mineral density test?
  • How does menopause affect my bone health?
  • Should I consider medical treatment?
  • When do I have a follow-up exam?

For older adults

  • How often should I have my bones measured?
  • What medical treatment, if needed, is best for me?
  • How do I prevent falls?
  • When do I have a follow-up exam?
  • Do I need a specialist?

For more information, contact your primary care physician or call The Bone Health Program at 314-454-7775.