Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatments

Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatments

Studies suggest that as many as 1 in 2 women and up to 1 in 4 men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease where your bones become weak, brittle and more likely to break. People who have it typically break bones in their hip, spine and wrist and become more at risk of bone fracture from something as minor as slipping, bumping into furniture, or even from coughing or sneezing.

Are You at Risk for Osteoporosis?

Some risk factors for osteoporosis are unavoidable and out of one’s control, such as:

  • Age, those over 50 are at greater risk
  • Gender, women are more likely to develop osteoporosis, but men are affected as well
  • Menopause
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Having a small/thin frame
  • Race, increased likelihood of osteoporosis for Caucasians or those of Asian descent
  • Having certain medical conditions, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, eating disorders, or history of bariatric surgery
  • Long-term use of steroids

Stronger Bones, Healthier You

While osteoporosis is serious, there’s good news: actionable steps you can take can to reduce your risk of osteoporosis and lower your chances of suffering a fracture. To protect and strengthen your bones:

  1. Get the calcium and vitamin D your bones need every day. Try to get most of the nutrients you need from your diet, but supplementation may be recommended.
  2. Participate in regular weight-bearing exercise.
  3. Don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol.
  4. Talk to your doctor about bone health and whether you need a bone-density test.
  5. Take osteoporosis medication, if needed.

Prevent Falls, Stop Fractures

One-third of people over 65 will experience a fall each year. Falls can cause long-term disability, loss of independence and even death. Because they can lead to fractures, falls can be particularly detrimental to those with osteoporosis. That’s why it’s critical to stop falls before they happen.

You can decrease your risk of falling by:

  • Staying physically active; focus on exercises that improve balance and coordination (e.g., Tai Chi).
  • Having your vision checked at least once a year.
  • Asking your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines. Be sure to take them exactly as prescribed.
  • Enhancing your home’s safety, such as improving lighting around stairs and other hazardous spots, clearing floor of clutter, and installing bath strips and grab bars in the bathroom.
  • Wearing supportive, low-heeled shoes.
  • Using assistive devices, if needed (e.g., canes, walkers or wheelchairs).

Holland Hospital Osteoporosis Services is led by Andrea DeWeerdt, FNP-C, a specialist in bone health management and fracture prevention. If you’ve already been diagnosed or at risk for osteoporosis, Lakeshore Health Partners Osteoporosis Services can help ensure your continued quality of life.


  • Andrea J. DeWeerdt, RN, BSN, MSN, FNP-C

    Andrea J. DeWeerdt, RN, BSN, MSN, FNP-C

    Andrea DeWeerdt is a Certified Nurse Practitioner specializing in bone health management and fracture prevention at Holland Hospital Bone Health. For an appointment with Andrea, call (616) 393-5336.

    In addition to her special interest in osteoporosis care Andrea is passionate about the health and well-being of the under-served in our community. She considers it a privilege to volunteer at City on a Hill Clinic as well as connect with individuals and families at Holland Rescue Mission and Love INC. Andrea enjoys playing piano, traveling, reading and outdoor adventures with her husband and three boys.

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