Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month
Osteoporosis is more common in women. It affects almost 20% (1 in 5) of women aged 50 and over and almost 5% (1 in 20) of men aged 50 and over. Many people with osteoporosis do not know they have it until they break a bone. Screening is important to find these people before this happens, so they can take steps to decrease the effects of osteoporosis.
As you get older, you are more likely to have osteoporosis and recovering from a broken bone becomes harder. Broken bones
can have lasting effects including pain that does not go away. Osteoporosis can cause the bones in the spine to break and begin to collapse, so that some people with it get shorter and are not able to stand up straight.
Currently, screening for osteoporosis is recommended for women who are 65 years old or older and for women who are 50 to 64 and have certain risk factors, which include having a parent who has broken a hip.
How can I improve my bone health if I have osteoporosis?
There are steps you can take to improve your bone health and strengthen weak bones:
- Take medications to strengthen your bones and avoid medications that can make your bones weaker.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D.
- Perform weight-bearing exercises regularly.
- Do not smoke.
- Limit alcohol use.
- Don’t wait until you have a broken bone to take steps to improve your bone health—you can start at any age!
You can also take steps to prevent falls, including doing exercises to improve your leg strength and balance, having your eyes checked, and making your home safer.