Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
Osteoporosis (meaning porous bone) is a bone disease in which bone loss occurs, so that bones become weak and are more likely to break. Without prevention or treatment, osteoporosis can progress without pain or symptoms until a bone breaks (fractures). Fractures from osteoporosis commonly occur in the hip, spine, ribs, and wrist.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
Bones may seem like hard and lifeless structures, but they are in fact living tissue. Old bone is constantly broken down and remodeled (through a process called bony resorption) by our bodies, while new bone is simultaneously deposited. When bone is broken down faster than it is deposited, low bone mass (osteopenia)
and osteoporosis can occur.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all women age 65 and older routinely have a bone mineral density test to test for osteoporosis. If you are at increased risk for broken bones caused by osteoporosis, routine testing should start sooner.