Osteoporosis: Facts & Prevention

Posted Friday, May 27, 2016

Did You Know? Approximately 10 million Americans have Osteoporosis

May is National Osteoporosis Month 

One in Two Women Over Age 50 Will Break a Bone Due to Osteoporosis

Bones are living, growing tissue made of three major components that make them flexible and strong. There are a variety of factors that increase your risk for developing Osteoporosis. Contrary to popular belief, Osteoporosis is not a part of normal aging. There is much you can do to protect your bones and prevent this progressive condition.  

Please read below to learn more about Osteoporosis and for tips on prevention. 

01 | The Basics

The body constantly absorbs and replaces bone tissue. In cases of Osteoporosis, however, new bone renewal doesn’t keep up with old bone breakdown. When this occurs, the bones become weak and brittle, causing even the slightest stresses like bending or coughing to cause fractures. Caucasian and Asian women carry a higher risk than other ethnicities.  

02 | Symptoms

The early stages of Osteoporosis do not normally produce symptoms. Once the bones become weakened, common signs include:

  • Back pain
  • Gradual loss of height
  • Stooped posture
  • Unexplained bone fractures

03 | Prevention

Osteoporosis prevention starts during childhood. Implementing the following habits early on can help promote general overall health and help to decrease your risk for developing Osteoporosis later in life.

  • Healthy Bone Nutrition: Eat foods rich in calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium
  • Exercise Regularly: From childhood on, regular exercise is vital to good bone health.
  • Practice Safety: Wear proper gear, check your house for potential hazards, use hand rails and take other precautions as necessary to avoid falls or other injuries.
  • Alcohol and Tobacco: Regular consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk. Smoking should be avoided.

04 | Treatment

Treatment recommendations are based the estimated risk of your breaking a bone in the next 10 years. This is determined by means of a bone density test. If the risk is low, your medical provider may suggest lifestyle changes and safety precautions. 

If your physician recommends medication, the most common types include bisphosphonates, denosumab and/or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for women, all of which help to maintain bone density.  

For additional resources on prevention and treatment options, please visit: https://www.nof.org/   

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