Did you know that one of the most common ailments in the US is osteoporosis? 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 be.

So what do you need to know about Osteoporosis?

The term osteoporosis means “porous bones”. It results in a decrease in bone strength – which leads to an increased risk of fracture.

Making a Diagnosis
A medical evaluation to diagnose osteoporosis and estimate your risk of breaking a bone may involve one or more steps.

Low Bone Density
Low bone density is when your bone density is lower than normal, but not low enough to be considered osteoporosis. People with low bone density are more likely to break a bone and may have a greater chance of getting osteoporosis because they have less bone to lose.

Although women are at greater risk, men get osteoporosis too. If you think you can’t get osteoporosis because you’re a man, think again. As our population ages, even more men will get the disease.

Facts and statistics:
Up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Approximately two million American men already have osteoporosis. About 12 million more are at risk.
Men older than 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.
Each year, about 80,000 men will break a hip.
Men are more likely than women to die within a year after breaking a hip. This is due to problems related to the break.
Men can break bones in the spine or break a hip, but this usually happens at a later age than women.

Why is Osteoporosis bad?
When you have weak and brittle bones you are at higher risk of fracture. When you experience a fracture other issues follow… like
Risk of re-fracture increases
28% of women and 37% of men who suffer a hip fracture die within one year
15% – 25% of those who suffer hip fracture require admission to a nursing home.

So 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.

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