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Home > > Health & WellnessNational Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month

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

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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