• Weak bones.
• Broken bones…four scary things we don’t want to experience, especially as we age.
Did you know that more than 2,000,000 bone breaks occur annually due to weak, compromised bones and that each year, nearly 300,000 people break their hip, some requiring nursing home or extended care as a result? Definitely food for thought.
Our bones provide structure, protect organs, anchor muscles and store calcium. Building strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence is critical, but there are steps you can take as an adult to protect your bone health.
Your bones are always changing, as new bone is made and old bone is broken down. As a youngster, your body made new bone faster than the old bone was broken down, and your body mass increased…until it peaked about age 30. Your likelihood for developing osteoporosis is dependent upon the amount of bone mass you attained by age 30 and how rapidly you lose it after that. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “cached” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.
Some things that affect bone health are:
- Calcium – A diet low in calcium contributes to diminished bone density.
Physical activity – People who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis.
- Tobacco and alcohol use – Tobacco use contributes to weak bones and alcohol can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
- Gender – Women have less bone tissue than men and are at greater risk for osteoporosis.
- Size – Being extremely thin or having a small body frame puts your bones at greater risk.
- Age – Your bones become thinner and weaker as you age.
- Family history – Having a parent or sibling who has osteoporosis puts you at greater risk, especially if you also have a family history of fractures.
- Hormone levels – In women, bone loss increases dramatically at menopause due to dropping estrogen levels. In men, low testosterone levels can cause a loss of bone mass.
- Certain medications – Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, cortisone and prednisone are damaging to bone.
If you’re concerned about your risk for osteoporosis, call and set up an appointment to take our Bone Clinic Pre-Risk Assessment Survey. We may also recommend a bone density test, the results of which will help us gauge your bone density, determine your rate of bone loss and assess whether you might be a candidate for medication to help slow bone loss.