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U.Va.’s New Bone Disease Clinic Welcomes Patients

January 28, 2004

Preventing and treating bone loss frequently requires a more complex response than conventional attempts at counteracting the aging process. To provide specialized care in the prevention and treatment of bone loss, U.Va. recently opened the new Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease Clinic.

“Osteoporosis can still be a threat even for the patient who drinks three glasses of milk a day and gets plenty of exercise. It often has underlying causes beyond the bone density loss menadnwomen experience as they age,” says Theresa A. Guise, M.D., director of the clinic.

She and two other U.Va. endocrinologists who specialize in bone health — Ailleen Heras-Herzig, M.D., and Alan Dalkin, M.D. — have teamed up at the clinic to help doctors address this widespread and growing health threat, by providing individualized evaluation and treatment plans.

Although bone loss can occur in anyone, it commonly occurs in women at the time of menopause. This accelerated bone loss can cause osteoporosis (severe bone loss) and broken bones. Osteoporosis has no warning signs — it is a silent disease until you break a bone.

Osteoporosis is more common in patients who have a family history of the disorder, are small-framed, are Caucasian or have been on long-term medication that can cause bone loss, such as glucocorticoids or thyroid hormone. In men, bone loss can occur with low testosterone levels. Those at risk for bone loss should be screened with a DEXA scan to measure bone mineral density.

Patients can refer themselves to the clinic, but may have to pay more out of pocket if they don't have a physician referral. Check your insurance policy to learn more about coverage for these services. For an appointment, call 434-924-1925.


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