Our bones go through a constant state of loss and regrowth. As you age, more bone loss than regrowth may occur. This can lead to a condition called osteoporosis, where the bones become thin and fragile and can break easily.

Risk Factors
  • Menopause
  • Removal of ovaries
  • Personal or family history of fractures
  • Diet low in calcium
  • Lack of exercise
  • Recent falls
  • Low body weight
  • Poor general health
  • Some medications
  • Alcohol and tobacco use

Estrogen helps protect against bone loss, so osteoporosis is a special health threat for post-menopausal women. Since it is difficult to grow new bone after it is lost, preventing or slowing bone loss is important. Exercise and eating a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D are two important ways to build and keep bone.

Exercise increases bone mass before menopause and slows bone loss after menopause. The best type of exercise to prevent bone loss and strengthen bones is weight-bearing exercise such as running, brisk walking, tennis, and low-impact aerobics. Even walking for 20 minutes each day will help slow bone loss.

If the amount of calcium in your bloodstream is too low, your body will take calcium from your bones to supply the rest of your body. Good sources of calcium are dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other sources are leafy green vegetables, nuts, seafood, and juices and cereals that are fortified with calcium.

Since your body can't absorb calcium without vitamin D, it is also important to make sure your diet includes adequate amounts. Milk fortified with vitamin D is one of the best sources. Another is sunlight. Being in the sun for just 15 minutes a day helps your skin produce vitamin D.

How Much Calcium Do You Need?*
  • Age
  • Optimal Daily Intake
  • Teenagers
  • 800 mg
  • Ages 25-50 (before menopause)
  • 1,000 mg
  • Over 50 (or surgical or premature menopause)
  • 1,500 mg
  • Not taking estrogen
  • 1,500 mg
  • Taking estrogen
  • 1,000 mg
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Additional 400 mg

*Source: National Institutes of Health


The only way to identify if you have osteoporosis is by having a bone density, or DEXA scan. The DEXA Scan can tell your doctor whether or not you have osteoporosis, your rate of bone loss, and your risk of a future fracture.

Capital Women's Care DEXA Scan screening facilities offer the most advanced technology, medical expertise, evaluation, and clinical interpretation available. The DEXA Scan only takes about 10 minutes. During the test, you lie down while an arm-like device called an imager scans your body. The test is completely painless and safe - you are exposed to less radiation than a regular chest x-ray.

See: A Women's Guide to Health, Ages 50-64

The doctors at Capital Women's Care can determine if you should undergo a DEXA Scan. The test is generally given to women over age 65, women who have had a bone fracture, and younger women who have one or more risk factors for osteoporosis. The doctors will also work with you to design an osteoporosis prevention and treatment plan.


In addition to daily exercise and a diet rich in calcium - both of which not only help prevent but also slow bone loss - there are medications available to inhibit bone loss and reduce the risk of fracture. The earlier the treatment is started, the better the results. The doctors at Capital Women's Care will talk with you about the role hormone therapy (HT) plays in osteoporosis prevention and treatment, as well as the other medications available to help slow down bone loss and improve bone density.

Our Mission

The providers of Capital Women's Care seek the highest quality medical and ethical standard in an environment that nurtures the spirit of caring for every woman.


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