Osteoporosis Crisis

There is an osteoporosis crisis in the US with up to 50 million people at risk for fractures. ADC osteoporosis specialist Michele McDermott, MD visited the KXAN studios to speak to Gigi Barnett about this disease.  As Gigi states, “we talk about heart disease and cancer, but no one talks about what happens when your bones cannot keep you upright”.   Dr. McDermott agrees by saying many people are unaware of fractures or fracture risk until they begin to lose height.

Know your risk factors

Dr. McDermott lists the following as risk factors for osteoporois:

  • Being a woman
  • Age
  • Smoker
  • Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet
  • Family history of hip or vertebral fracture

Bone density is key to bone strength.   When the bone density is weakened, bone strength and structure is lost. For women, since estrogen regulates the remodeling of bones, it makes sense that after menopause, the body loses that ability to remodel bone.


There are two types of treatments for osteoporosis:

  • Antiresorptive drugs
  • Bone building drugs

Dr. McDermott says she comes across many patients who are fearful of taking these drugs due to side effects.  She states the side effects are rare, but fractures are not.   She encourages patients to speak to their doctors and get the facts about these medications and treatments.

Recommendations for good bone health

  • Exercise – weight bearing exercises are great for building & maintaining bone strength
  • Get your daily dose of Calcium (1200mg) and Vitamin D (800-1000 IUs)
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • No smoking
  • If you have a family history visit your doctor to get a bone density screening