Did you know that May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month?
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that severely weakens bones, leading to reduced bone density, and frequent fractures. While it is most common in post-menopausal women it can also affect men, and even children. Osteoporosis means “porous bone”.
Osteoporosis: Major risk factors
A woman’s risk of breaking a bone is equal to her combined risk of developing breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.
Uncontrollable risk factors for osteoporosis:
- Female sex
- Low weight/small body frame
- Asian or Caucasian race
- Advanced age
- Familial history of osteoporosis (if your parent or sibling has osteoporosis your risk of developing the disease increases)
- Hormonal changes (both naturally occurring and as a result of medical intervention)
- Certain diseases like Lupus and breast cancer
Controllable risk factors for osteoporosis:
- Cigarette smoking and/or excessive alcohol consumption
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Eating disorders
- Lack of calcium and vitamin D
- Excessive consumption of protein, caffeine, and sodium
While there is no foolproof way to prevent osteoporosis or loss of bone density—maintaining a healthy diet, incorporating weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercises into your workouts, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol can lower your risk. Always consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program as certain exercises could increase your risk of bone fractures.
It’s also important to discuss risk factors with your doctor, and find out if you could benefit from DXA bone density testing at Bergen Imaging Center. For more information give us a call at 201.568.4242, or visit us online to schedule your appointment.