Osteoporosis: What you don't know may break you... | Carson Tahoe Health

Osteoporosis: What you don’t know may break you…

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become porous, fragile and more likely to break. It occurs for a variety of reasons—the aging process, family history, early menopause (before age 40), metabolic disease, smoking and long-term use of steroid-based medications. Approximately 10 million American women are affected by osteoporosis. By the time some women reach the age of 65, they have already lost half their bone mass. And although women are four times more likely than men to develop the disease, men can also suffer from osteoporosis.

Lack of prevention and treatment can cause this condition to progress, often without your awareness, until a bone breaks—typically the hip, spine, and wrist. Hip and spine fractures are the greatest concern, because they are debilitating, usually requiring hospitalization and major surgery.

Luckily, there are Five Steps you can take to keep your bones healthy and prevent osteoporosis:

1. Eat Right. Get your daily recommended amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D.

2. Exercise. Engage in regular weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercise.

3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

4. Talk to your healthcare provider about bone health.

5. Get Tested. Have a bone density test and take medication as directed.

Where do you stand with Osteoporosis?

Take this Risk Factor Questionnaire, sponsored by the National Osteoporosis Foundation and find out.