Osteoporosis | Bone Disorder | California
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Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is a disease in which your bones become weak. More often than not, osteoporosis is diagnosed at a time when there is a fracture. Sometimes when osteoporosis is really severe, normal things like hugging a family member or sitting down can cause a fracture.  It usually affects women 50 and older, but can affect women of all ages and occasionally men.

Who is at risk for osteoporosis?

  • Women have osteoporosis much more often than men. Men can also have osteoporosis though
     
  • There is a hereditary factor to osteoporosis therefore if your mom, grandmother or aunts had osteoporosis your risk is greater than that of the general population
     
  • The risk of osteoporosis increases with age especially in women over the age of 50 after menopause), also petite women have a higher incidence of osteoporosis
     
  • Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis because bone density is lower than those who do not smoke

Why do women over 50 have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis?  Usually after 50,menopause develops causing a drop in estrogen levels which are protective against bone loss, therefore there is an acceleration of bone loss during this period of time.

How can I prevent osteoporosis? Make exercise a part of your daily routine, walking and jogging are excellent exercises as well as lifting light weights will make your bones stronger. Also, it is recommended that you eat foods that are rich in calcium such as dairy products (milk, cheeses, and yoghurt), green vegetables and food fortified with calcium like cereals and bread, and quitting smoking completely.

How is osteoporosis treated? Dietary changes and exercise are always the first line of treatment along with exercise and sun exposure for about 20 minutes per day. Calcium and vitamin D can be used, and in some cases some medicine will be needed to treat osteoporosis.

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