Patients that have been diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have been found to be at an increased risk of bone loss or fractures. Women diagnosed with lupus are at an even higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a medical condition where the bones of the body are at a higher risk of fracture potential because the bones have become less dense and are in a weakened state. Fractures are common in osteoporosis and can become a disability for some sufferers. The pain experienced with fractures can be severe and chronic. It is important for people, especially those with lupus and women, have a proper screening for osteoporosis so they can use the proper course of action for treatment.
Typical signs and symptoms of osteoporosis include:
- Stooped posture
- Back pain which results from fractured vertebrae
- Frequent bone fractures (especially those that occur without much impact)
- Loss of height over a period of time
It is important to speak with your doctor about any concerns you have. Osteoporosis can be prevented if the right care is taken including calcium supplements, vitamin D supplements, daily exercise, and an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.
There are tests that can be performed to indicate the measurements of your bone density which can pinpoint risk factors for osteoporosis. These x-ray tests will scan your overall body to analyze the bones but doctors primarily will check the bones in the wrist, the spine, and the hip for bone density measurements.
There are treatments for those diagnosed with osteoporosis including medications known as bisphosphonates which can be taken orally or issued as an injection into the body. Hormone therapies may also be used, especially in women going through menopause.