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National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month

Did you know that 10 million Americans have osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become thin and weak. These thin and weak bones can break (fracture), even from doing a simple activity such as sneezing or picking up a newspaper.

Osteoporosis most often affects the bones in the hip, lower back, neck, and wrist. A broken bone is how most people find out they have osteoporosis. We can not feel our bones growing weaker. What we do feel is the pain caused by a fracture. This pain can become chronic.

Risk Factors
Although osteoporosis mostly affects women, two million men have osteoporosis. Other risk factors include:

  • Advanced age (older than 65)
  • Current cigarette smoking
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Caucasian or Asian race
  • Low physical activity
  • Low body weight (less than 127 pounds or BMI less than 20)
  • Long term corticosteroid therapy

Prevention
Everyone can take steps to help prevent osteoporosis!

  • Make sure your daily diet includes enough calcium (1200 mg)
  • Make sure your daily diet includes enough vitamin D3 (800-1000 IU)
  • Take part in weight bearing exercise such as walking or dancing

Talk To Your Doctor
A good step towards good bone health is to talk with your doctor. Questions to ask include:

  1. Do I need a bone mineral density test? This special type of x-ray tells how strong your bones are. It is generally recommended for:
    • People age 65 or older
    • Older people who have had a bone fracture.
  2. Should I take calcium and/or vitamin D supplements?
  3. Do I need a prescription medication to help improve my bone strength?

If you are at risk for osteoporosis, help protect your bones by calling your doctor for an appointment today.

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