Information On Osteoporosis

Important information on osteoporosis that you need to protect yourself from this debilitating disease.

Osteoporosis effects 20% of women and 5% of men age fifty and older. With this in mind, please consider that the risk of developing this disease is considerable for women especially. This disease strikes 28 million Americans with 80% of those being women. In the United States, 40% of white women and 13% of white men will experience an Osteoporotic fracture at some point.

Am I at Risk for Osteoporosis?

That depends on your gender, age, and race. African-Americans men and women have the highest bone mass reported in recent studies. Caucasians of European decent have the lowest bone mass measurements. People of Asian decent fall in the middle of this category. In all groups, women are the most likely to develop Osteoporosis.

There are genetic factors contribute to a person's bone mass, which also has been related to cases of Osteoporosis also. A family history of bone fractures can help in determining your risk for developing this disease. Children of women suffering from this disorder are more likely to have a lower bone mass measurement.

Women who have hysterectomies are at greater risk, especially with the removal of the ovaries prior to the natural age of menopause. The women with the shortest menstruation span are the most at risk. Other factors that could increase a woman's chances of developing Osteoporosis are listed below:

· Few pregnancies

· Women who did not breast feed or did so for a very short time

· Irregular periods

If you are a white man or woman, you are the most likely to be inflicted with this condition. Since low bone mass is associated with Osteoporosis, a sedentary lifestyle and diet play a large role in the development of this disease.

Should I have a bone mass measurement?

Children of women or men with Osteoporosis should be tested as early as possible. Consult your physician for the appropriate age. If you are a white woman over the age of forty, it is a good idea to take this precaution. Any woman over the age of forty should consider this test very seriously. Any man of Northern European or Asian decent over the age of forty should also consider this option. Please consult your doctor if you think that you may be at an increased risk.



Are thinner people more at risk for Osteoporosis?

Yes, the lower your body weight, the higher your risk is for this disease. A person's body type is also a risk factor. Increased muscle strength is also associated with a decrease in bone mass. This is the case with both men and women. Obese women almost never develop Osteoporosis.

A difference in the production of estrogen is possibly a factor, although studies have not yet confirmed this. The higher fat content that a body possesses the more estrogen it is able to produce. This does not mean that being overweight is good for you. There are many other diseases for which this puts you at a much higher risk.

Other factors that may increase your risk for Osteoporosis:

1. Smoking

2. Heavy Alcohol consumption

3. An inactive lifestyle

4. A low-calcium diet

5. Childhood malnutrition

6. A high intake of caffeine

7. The following drugs:

steroids, gonadotropin hormones, anti-convulsants, thyroid hormones, diuretics, and anti-coagulants like heparin. Antacids and even aspirin can increase your risk. This is probably why they add calcium to Tums and other antacids.

What are the best things that I can do to prevent Osteoporosis?

· Have a diet high in protein and calcium including many fruits and vegetables.

· Take calcium supplements

· Maintain an active lifestyle (exercise regularly)

· Have a bone density test at the appropriate age

You can find more information on osteoporosis at your local library or by searching almost any search engine on the Internet. Hopefully, this article has given you the information that you need to help you avoid the development of this disease.

Sources:

1. The Osteoporosis Book by Nancy E. Lane M.D.

2. The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

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