How Do You Prevent Osteoporosis in Women?

Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disease that affects millions of people. As people age, their bones become weaker and lose density resulting in porous bones that can fracture easily, sometimes from a minor fall. Although women are prone to develop osteoporosis with age and if they are postmenopausal, 20 percent of those affected by osteoporosis are men.

Risk Factors You may have noticed that some people have more chances of developing osteoporosis compared to others. The causes that lead to osteoporosis and fractures are called “risk factors.”

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis:

  • If you’re a woman
  • If you are elderly
  • If you have a small, frail and thin body structure
  • If you have a known history of fractures
  • If your level of hormones are lower than normal
  • Low estrogen levels in postmenopausal women
  • Low testosterone levels in men
  • If your diet is low in calcium and vitamin D levels
  • If you smoke
  • If you use certain medications like steroids, chemotherapeutic medicines used for treating cancer, anti-seizure medicines, etc.
  • If you have a known disease condition like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, endocrine disorders (e.g. diabetes), cancer, etc.

Diagnosing Osteoporosis:

Diagnosis:   To test for osteoporosis, your physician will order a specialized test called ‘bone density test.’ This test is performed in different body parts and helps to identify and diagnose if you have developed osteoporosis. Your doctor can look at the test results and conclude if your bones have weakened and you are likely to fracture your bones when you fall.

What Men Need to Know About Osteoporosis. If you think that men do not get osteoporosis, you are wrong. Men over 50 years are more likely to get osteoporosis and fracture a bone than they are of getting prostate cancer. We earlier discussed some risk factors for osteoporosis and all of these can cause men to get osteoporosis. Getting a bone density test is worth considering. Discuss the issue the next time you visit your doctor. You can make sure your diet has sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Staying physically active is good for your bones. If you are already diagnosed with osteoporosis, you must avoid excessive motions such as with golf or tennis.

Preventing Osteoporosis:

Prevention Strategies.  The best ways to protect your bones and keep them strong must be your priority if you have some of the above risk factors for osteoporosis. While including calcium and vitamin D in your diet is recommended, an overall poor diet is also not beneficial to your bones. Eating poorly and unbalanced meals, smoking, consuming too much alcohol, and leading a sedentary life can increase your chances of getting osteoporosis. Therefore, whatever your age, you can make these lifestyle changes and improve your bone strength.

Treatment for Osteoporosis

When your doctor proceeds to treat you for osteoporosis, your treatment will be determined by several factors including your age, sex, severity of osteoporosis, other health problems, your personal preference, etc.

You must verify the side effects of medicines that are prescribed to you to ensure that it does not interfere with any other medication you are taking already.

There is no cure for osteoporosis but the medications can slow or sometimes stop the progress of osteoporosis. Along with prescribed medicines, getting adequate quantities of calcium and vitamin D in your diet are important.

Some of the common medicines for osteoporosis are Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Reclast, Fortical, and Evista.

In addition to all of the above, a program of weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises help to promote bone health.

Osteoporosis Safety

If you or an elderly loved one have osteoporosis there is a higher than normal risk of injuries. Even minor fall related accidents can have devastating effects due to the higher probability of broken bones. The home should be modified to reduce falling accidents and a senior alert device should be installed to get help in the event of an accident or sudden incapacitation.  You can learn more about senior safety at ElderKind.com

 

Marie Clark

I'm the senior health editor at ElderKind.com

5 thoughts on “How Do You Prevent Osteoporosis in Women?

  • January 11, 2012 at 12:41 am
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    Life is so beautiful, so I fight for my happiness aggressively, yes I am a senior and I’m proud of myself. Even though, some time ago I am a little lonely, but I have found my other half thanks to [seniorconnecting .com]. I believe you are also enjoy your life, so let’s be happy together!

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  • April 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm
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    Really great info! Thanks for posting this article, I’m going to copy it to my parents. I’m sure they will appreciate reading it also.

    Reply
  • March 27, 2011 at 6:29 am
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    The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to stop modifiable risk factors such as smoking, excess alcohol intake etc. Regular exercise and adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D is important as well.

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  • March 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm
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    Good article, but emphasis must be put on proper diet and exercise with regards to osteoporosis and treatment…

    This same emphasis can and will treat a vast majority of man’s ailments…

    It stands to reason and cannot be said enough yet ‘experts’ fail time and time again to mention this…

    Proper diet and excerise are the two factors that combat osteoporosis most effectively!!…

    Charlene Allison

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  • March 26, 2011 at 9:52 am
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    Good article. Knowledge in preventive steps is certainly key.

    Another point to note is that osteoporosis and osteoarthritis can often go hand in hand as the pain from stiff and sore joints can inhibit one from wanting to participate in exercises which would benefit bone density. Here is a link to two quick articles which may also be helpful: http://clearpathchiropractic.com/hip.html

    Stay well.

    Reply

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