Osteoporosis

Stand Up for Good Bone Health

Health Guides: Osteoporosis
 

It’s up to you to protect yourself against osteoporosis

When you think of osteoporosis, you may think of an old lady, stooped over with brittle bones and a hump. However, osteoporosis affects half of all women over the age of 50 and almost 90% of those over 75. Even young women are being diagnosed – actress Gwyneth Paltrow was diagnosed with osteopenia at age 37. However, most women aren’t screened for osteoporosis until they’re older, unless they have significant risk factors or they have a fracture that doesn’t seem to heal.

Osteoporosis is a silent disease—you could have it and not even know it since osteoporosis has virtually no symptoms. Even more sobering, the death rate associated with osteoporosis-related fracture is greater than that of breast cancer and heart disease combined.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’re doomed—it’s never too early or too late to start taking care of your bones. 

What could put you at risk?

  • Being Caucasian or Asian
  • Being thin
  • Chronic drinking
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • History of eating disorders
  • Inactivity
  • Menopause
  • Not enough exposure to sunlight
  • Not getting enough vitamin D and/or calcium
  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Steroid use
  • Thyroid problems
  • Bone loss can be stopped, reversed or even avoided.
  • Vitamin D and calcium are crucial for bone health.
  • Deep belly fat increases your risk for osteoporosis. 

Types

  • Osteopenia is the first stage of osteoporosis. A balanced diet and regular exercise will help prevent the progression to osteoporosis.
  • Osteoporosis is the thinning of the bones. It’s not usually found until a bone is fractured.

Treatments

  • After screening, osteopenia patients manage their condition with iron, calcium and weight bearing exercise.
  • Those with osteoporosis symptoms will make lifestyle modifications and receive medications, steroids or injections.