Osteoporosis is usually disease of older adults and post-menopausal women.
It is challenging to diagnose and treat diagnosis of osteoporosis and/or diagnosis of low bone density in adults less than 50 years of age.
First step is to define if it’s true clinical osteoporosis or just low bone mass on imaging.
We have accelerated bone development and accrue all our bone mass by age 30 years.
If for some reason, individuals are not able to accrue adequate bone mass by age 30 years, those individuals will always have relatively low bone density.
This can happen due to many conditions, can be because menses were delayed, hypogonadism of many forms, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, malnutrition, autoimmune disorders and Crohn’s disease, inflammatory conditions, HIV, gastric bypass etc. metabolic disorders of bone, calcium metabolism etc.
Low bone density can also be a result of chronic smoking, significant alcohol use and drug use.
Glucocorticoids or steroid use has a significant impact in lowering bone density.
This low bone density can translate into clinical osteoporosis if patients sustain low trauma fractures.
Based on blood work, clinical presentation, presence of ongoing risk factors, presence of fractures, etc. you doctor will decide if you need any treatment to make your bones stronger.
Not every patient with low bone density on DEXA scan in absence of low trauma fracture needs medications such as bisphosphonates or bone building medications.
If you are under age 50 and have sustained a low trauma fracture and is concerned about health of your bones, please reach out to one of our physicians at Palm Beach Diabetes and Endocrine Specialists, and we will be happy to take care of you!