Ladies, Take 5 Steps to Avoid Osteoporosis10/18/13
FRIDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- As the population ages,
experts expect the number of women with the bone-thinning disease
osteoporosis to surge.
"Osteoporosis is a serious threat to women's health -- worldwide one in three women over the age of 50 will suffer a broken bone due to osteoporosis," John Kanis, president of the International Osteoporosis Foundation, said in a foundation news release. "Yet too many women are unaware of their increased risk after menopause and fail to take preventive measures."
Once they reach menopause, women's risk for osteoporosis
increases as bone loss accelerates and bones weaken. Women older
than 45 spend more time in the hospital because of osteoporosis
than any other chronic disease, including diabetes, heart attack or
breast cancer, according to the news release.
Fractures because of osteoporosis often lead to immobility,
diminished quality of life and early death.
The foundation points to five strategies women can take to
maintain muscle strength, prevent bone loss or manage
- Exercise.Women should get 30 to 40 minutes of physical
activity, three to four times each week. This activity should
include a combination of resistance training and weight-bearing
- Eat a bone-healthy diet.Women should eat foods rich in
dietary calcium and protein, along with plenty of fruits and
vegetables. Getting enough vitamin D through sunlight or a
supplement is also important.
- Kick bad habits.To protect bone health, stop smoking.
Drinking heavily can also have a negative effect on bone health.
It's also important to avoid being too thin. Women who are
underweight are at higher risk for osteoporosis than those who are
a normal weight.
- Know your risk factors.It's essential to get educated about
osteoporosis and learn if you are at greater risk for developing
the disease. Common risk factors for osteoporosis include going
through menopause before age 45; use of medications known as
glucocorticoids; or having rheumatoid arthritis or malabsorption
disorders, such as celiac or Crohn's disease. Women who have broken
bones in the past or have a family history of osteoporosis are also
at greater risk for the disease.
- Check your bone health.Once women reach menopause, they
should visit their doctor to have their bone health and risk for
fracture assessed. Women who are diagnosed with bone loss should
follow the treatment regimen prescribed by their doctor.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on
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