Osteoporosis is a Silent Disease

Osteo Bonecells - Osteoporosis in seniors, Hart Heritage Assisted Living in Harford County

Bone Health Basics: Get the Facts

When you think about staying healthy, you probably consider lifestyle changes to prevent conditions like cancer and heart disease. Keeping your bones healthy to prevent osteoporosis may not be at the top of your wellness list. But it should.

Bone Basics

Some people think of bones as hard and lifeless, but they are actually living, growing tissue. Your bones are made up of three major components that make them flexible and strong.

  • Collagen, a protein that gives bones a flexible framework
  • Calcium-phosphate mineral complexes that make bones hard and strong
  • Living bone cells that remove and replace weakened sections of bone

Children and teenager form bone faster than they lose bone.

Even after children and teens stop growing taller, they continue to make more bone than they lose. This means their bones continue getting denser until they reach what experts call peak bone mass, the point when you have the greatest amount of bone you will ever have. Peak bone mass usually happens between the ages of 18 and 25. The more bone you have at the time of peak bone mass, the less likely you are to break a bone or get osteoporosis later in life.

As you age, you can lost more bone than you form.

After you reach peak bone mass, the balance between bone formation and bone loss might start to change.  You may start to slowly lose more bone than you form. In midlife, bone loss usually speeds up in both men and women. For most women, bone loss increases after menopause, when estrogen levels drop sharply. In fact, in the five to seven years after menopause, women can lose up to 20 percent or more of their bone density. Osteoporosis happens when you lose too much bone, make too little bone, or both.

It’s never too late at any age to take steps to protect your bones.

Are you at Risk?

There are a variety of factors that put you at risk for developing osteoporosis. Talk with your healthcare provider about your risk factors for osteoporosis and work together to develop a plan to protect your bones.

A woman’s risk of breaking a hip due to osteoporosis is equal to her risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined. And a man age 50 or older is more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than he is to get prostate cancer.

There are a variety of factors – both controllable and uncontrollable – that put you at risk for developing osteoporosis. It is important to talk with your healthcare provider about your risk factors for osteoporosis and together you can develop a plan to protect your bones.

A woman’s risk of breaking a hip due to osteoporosis is equal to her risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined. And a man age 50 or older is more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than he is to get prostate cancer.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors

  • Being over age 50.
  • Being female.
  • Menopause.
  • Family history of osteoporosis.
  • Low body weight/being small and thin.
  • Broken bones or height loss.

Controllable Risk Factors

  • Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
  • Getting too much protein, sodium and caffeine.
  • Having an inactive lifestyle.
  • Smoking.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Losing weight.

Prevention and Healthy Living

Osteoporosis and the broken bones it can cause are not part of normal aging. There is a lot you can do to protect your bones throughout your life. You’re never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones. Osteoporosis prevention should begin in childhood. But it shouldn’t stop there. Whatever your age, the habits you adopt now can affect your bone health for the rest of your life. Now is the time to take action.

What can you do to protect your bones?

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Engage in regular exercise.
  • Eat foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.

Calcium and Vitamin D: What You Need to Know

Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is essential to building strong, dense bones when you’re young and to keeping them strong and healthy as you age. Find out what you need to know about the two most important nutrients for bone health.

Diet and Bones

The food that you eat can affect your bones. Learning about the foods that are rich in calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients that are important for your bone health and overall health will help you make healthier food choices every day.

Exercise for Strong Bones

There are two types of exercises that are important for building and maintaining bone density: weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. Learn about each type of exercise and how you can incorporate both into your exercise routine.

https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/