You may not be able to see them when you look in the mirror, but our bones are extremely important to our health and stability! Bone diseases, like osteoporosis, can cause brittle bones and increase your risk of bone fractures if you fall. Let’s take a look at what osteoporosis is, who is most at risk, and what you can do to help keep your bones strong as you age.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak, which can make them more likely to break. After you turn 35, your body breaks down more bone than it builds. Having osteoporosis causes you to lose bone mass faster than someone who doesn’t have the disease. For women, after menopause, this bone breakdown happens even faster. Unfortunately, just like you can’t see your bones in the mirror, it is often hard to know whether you have osteoporosis without specific testing, making osteoporosis a “silent” disease that may not show any symptoms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), osteoporosis affects almost 1 in 5 women and almost 1 in 20 men ages 50 and older. Non-Hispanic white and Asian women post-menopause are at the highest risk. So, what can you do to help prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis?
Well, I’m glad you asked! While it seems to be the answer to everything, diet and exercise are key! A diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D can help build strong bones. In addition, weight-bearing exercises (like walking or strength-training) can help keep your bones strong. Start to, if you haven’t already, build strength exercises into your routine. Limit alcohol, caffeine and avoid tobacco.
Learn more about osteoporosis and falls. Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk of osteoporosis at your next appointment.