Overland Park, Kansas – When you think about staying healthy, you probably think about making lifestyle changes to prevent cancer and heart disease. But keeping your bones healthy is just as important. Here are some important facts provided by the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Approximately 44 million Americans have low bone density or osteoporosis. In fact, about one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. By 2020, half of all Americans over age 50 are expected to have low bone density or osteoporosis.
There are many reasons people get osteoporosis. Some of these include having a family history of broken bones, smoking, not getting enough physical activity, unhealthy eating habits, drinking too much alcohol, taking certain medicines and having certain medical conditions. Osteoporosis can sneak up on you. You can’t feel your bones becoming weaker. You could have osteoporosis now or be at risk without realizing it. A bone mineral densitytest can tell if you have osteoporosis before you experience symptoms, such as breaking a bone. Osteoporosis isn’t just a problem for older Caucasian women. While osteoporosis is common among white women, men and women of all races and ethnicities can develop the disease. It can also strike at any age.
If you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, there are many things you can do to prevent broken bones and live a full, active life. Talk to your doctor about the different osteoporosis medicines available to help maintain or improve bone density, thereby reducing your risk of broken bones. You can greatly improve your quality of life if you can avoid breaking bones. Learn how to avoid falls by paying attention to your surroundings and taking precautions when moving around. Eat well and move more. Even with an osteoporosis diagnosis, you should continue to eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D as well as exercise regularly. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program or work with a physical therapist to tailor activity to your needs.
For more information contact the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 1150 17th Street, NW Suite 850, Washington, DC 20036, 800.231.4222.