Your bones are vital organs that serve primarily to protect your internal organs and enable movement. While bone growth is largely related to genetics, everyone is at risk for bone loss depending on his or her lifestyle. Osteoporosis is a common disease that results in the loss of bone density over time, affecting more than 10 million Americans today. Out of this staggering number, women past the age of menopause are the most at risk. Continue reading to learn what every woman should know about osteoporosis:
Why Women are More at Risk: Women are biologically more at risk for lower bone density than men. There are a few reasons for this; primarily, women tend to reach their peak bone mass at an earlier age than men. Estrogen production is another key factor behind the gender gap in osteoporosis patients. While estrogen keeps bones strong and healthy, the dramatic drop in production during menopause increases a woman’s bone loss and, subsequently, the chances of osteoporosis.
Preventative Measures: The best way to treat osteoporosis is to practice preventative measures early on. Females in their teenage years should make sure to add plenty of calcium to their diet. You can talk to your doctor about taking a supplement if you can’t get enough bone-building nutrients in your daily diet. Another important measure is to maintain a healthy weight and practice physical activity. Exercising is essential for building bone and muscle strength. Try to cut back on carbonated beverages, smoking, and alcohol, which can lower blood levels of calcium.
When You Should Get Tested: Because osteoporosis does not give any symptoms of pain, it is recommended that women visit a specialist as soon as she begins menopause. A doctor will be able to measure your bone mineral density and continue to monitor your condition through periodic visits.
Don’t wait until you experience a fractured bone to see a doctor. The Osteoporosis Clinic at Carolina Back Institute provides extensive services to help you maintain healthy bones and treat painful fractures. Call us at (919) 781-9950 or visit our website for more information today.