Three Things Women Should Know About Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that robs you of your bone strength, making you more vulnerable to fractures and serious injury. Orthopedic specialists see a growing number of patients with the disease and most people know of a friend or family member who suffers with the condition. Here are a few things you should know about osteoporosis.

General Risk Factorsorthopedic_specialists

Your gender, age, ethnic background, and diet have a lot to do with your risk of developing osteoporosis. Women are already at higher risk for this disease by virtue of smaller, thinner bones than their male counterparts. If you are Caucasian or Asian, this increases your risk. For those who are lactose intolerant (another trait common for Asian women), it may be difficult to get adequate calcium and Vitamin D, both essential to bone health as we age.

Know Your Personal Risk

When analyzing your own risk factors for osteoporosis, both controllable and uncontrollable facts should be reviewed. Does your family have a tendency to develop the condition? Heredity could indicate higher personal risk. Women who are pregnant or who have given birth may have depleted calcium stores as a result. Women going through menopause lose significant bone density due to hormone fluctuations.  Your diet is your most controllable risk factor. If you cannot or do not eat dairy, your bones may not be getting the calcium and D they need. Processed foods have low quality nutrients and sugars that cause bones to weaken.

What You Can Do

Orthopedic specialists and medical doctors can help you form a detailed plan for reducing your risk of osteoporosis, but in general ask about calcium and Vitamin D sources including supplements or non-dairy sources of calcium such as kale, almonds, oranges, firm tofu, and fortified cereals. Exercise is important to bone health so stay active and talk to your specialist about the right types of exercise to nurture bone density.

Osteoporosis does not have to be a certainty for you as you age. Ask your orthopedic specialists now about reducing your risk factors early.

 

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