Osteoporosis and Bone Health

Michele McDermott, MD shares osteoporosis and bone health awareness advice

Dr. McDermott discusses osteoporosis and bone health with Fox 7 Good Day

Click here to see the full interview.

With osteoporosis and bone health awareness month in full swing, Dr. Michele McDermott continues to educate the public about osteoporosis and bone health.  KTBC’s Ann Wyatt Little discusses the current osteoporosis crisis with Dr. McDermott during Good Day’s Health Watch.

What is Osteoporosis?

It is the gradual loss of mineral in bones which affects the skeletal structure, by weakening the micro-structure of the bone.  The weakened bone makes it easier to sustain a fracture from a non-traumatic fall.

Who is usually at risk for osteoporosis?

Dr. McDermott says the most common individuals affected are post menopausal women over the age of 50.  Because of the loss of estrogen production, women begin losing bone gradually. After 10 years, a postmenopausal woman may lose up to 40% of the bone mineral in her skeleton.   It is a silent process, that many women are unaware of until they break a bone.

How can I find out if I have bone mineral loss?

According to Dr. McDermott, the best way is to have a bone density test.  This very easy, painless and quick test measures the density of your bones throughout your body.  Unfortunately, for those who do not have a bone density test, the first time they find out about their bone loss is when they get a fracture or break a bone.  The accident which causes the fracture, may not even be something traumatic, a fall from standing height, may be enough to fracture a wrist or hip.

Why is there a crisis for patients with osteoporosis?

Dr. McDermott explains that instead of the rate of fracture declining, over the past few years, they have been increasing.  And because the baby boomers are now at the age where they are susceptible to bone loss, we will continue to more and more fractures occurring.  Fractures are expensive to treat so she recommends getting a diagnosis and treatment to help prevent fractures in the future.

What we do to better care for our bones?

Bones are made of calcium, therefore we need adequate calcium intake to keep bones strong.  Before age 50, women and men need 1000 mg of calcium daily.  After age 50, individuals should increase to 1200 mg by including mile, cheese, yogurt and/or supplements in your daily diet.  Dr. McDermott also reminds us that stimulated bones are healthy bones. Staying active through weight lifting, weight bearing exercise, walking, or rowing are all good ways to keep bones strong.


Dr. McDermott is an osteoporosis specialist and Director of Bone Densitometry at The Austin Diagnostic Clinic (inside St. David’s North Austin Medical Center) in north Austin.  For an appointment to assess the next steps for your bone health and make an appointment, contact our Call Center 24/7 at 512-901-1111 or complete the form below.

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