More than 40-million Americans already suffer from, or are at high risk for developing osteoporosis – causing bones to become abnormally thin and weak, and to break easily. Are you at risk? Is osteoporosis in your future?

The risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:

  • Being female – more common in older women, both sexes are affected by this disease.
  • Body build – smaller-framed, thin women are at greater risk
  • Ethnicity – the risk is higher for Caucasian and Asian women
  • Family history – osteoporosis seems to run in families
  • Age – as we age, our risk increases

Other risk factors include:

  • Lowered hormones as we age
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol
  • Lack of vitamin D, and a low calcium intake
  • Taking certain prescription medications

Maintaining bone health integrity is vitally important to each of us, especially as we age. As bone replaces itself, we can help strengthen our bones by eating a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D. Low fat milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, spinach, broccoli and salmon are among the foods that support bone health.

Exercise is bone-strengthening, too. A half-hour walk in the fresh air and sunshine, or inside the mall, helps build bone mass. Climbing stairs, lifting weights and swimming are all strengthening.

Whatever we do to maintain a healthy lifestyle promotes bone health, too. The body is fascinating in its ability to help itself when we cooperate with it by eating right, taking vitamin and mineral supplements, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep.

The best way to know about your bone health is to have a bone density scan. If you have questions, contact Paris Regional Medical Center. Our rheumatologist is experienced in the treatment of osteoporosis and in the full range of treatments available. For information or an appointment, call 903-737-1623 today.