Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the removal of old bone.
According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, osteoporosis currently affects the lives of more than half of all women and 1 in 4 men in America. However, white and Asian women — especially after menopause — are at highest risk.
Typically, there are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. However, once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may experience:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Loss of height over time
- A stooped posture
- Bone fractures that occur much more easily than expected
Genetic factors play a significant role in determining whether you are at a heightened risk for osteoporosis. However, lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity also influence the rate of bone loss later in life.
If you believe you are at risk for osteoporosis, you should:
- Follow a nutritious diet with adequate calcium intake
- Avoid under-nutrition, particularly the effects of severe weight-loss diets and eating disorders
- Maintain an adequate supply of vitamin D
- Participate in regular weight-bearing exercise
- Don’t smoke
- Avoid heavy drinking
Follow these tips to increase your odds of successfully fighting osteoporosis…it could truly improve your life!