Osteoporosis

Strong Bones May Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis occurs when bones become weak and brittle. A sign of osteoporosis –in both men and women – is when a mild stress, such as bending over or coughing, causes a fracture.

Osteoporosis is different than osteoarthritis. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine when older bone tissues are absorbed but growth of new bone fails to keep pace with the body’s need to replace the bone mass. Studies show that a third or more of the women in the United States over age 45 may experience signs of osteoporosis at any point in time.

If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, our osteoporosis physicians will provide you with medications, dietary supplements and weight-bearing exercise to help strengthen your bones.

Women lose more bone mass than men because they start with 30 percent less than men and lose it faster after menopause. Caucasian and Asian women have less bone mass than African American women, putting them at greater risk.

Reducing your risk

You can take steps now to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. If you already have osteoporosis many of the same steps for reducing your risk can be used as treatment.

Your body builds bone mass until you reach age 35. At any time in your life, you can the slow the rate of bone mass loss by:

  • Increasing calcium in your diet
    • Most adults need 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium a day from food and/or calcium supplements
  • Avoiding smoking
    • Smokers may have an increased risk for osteoporosis because they often weigh five to 10 pounds less than nonsmokers
  • Avoiding heavy alcohol use
    • Have no more than two drinks per day to keep bones healthy
  • Doing weight bearing exercises on a regular basis
    • Exercise three to four times a week for a total of 20 to 30 minutes each time

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