4 Major Risk Factors of Osteoporosis That Every Woman Should Know

4 Major Risk Factors of Osteoporosis That Every Woman Should Know

It’s the reason your mom has been talking up the importance of drinking milk since birth. It’s the reason why every other celebrity was sporting a milk mustache in the “Got Milk” ads. Yes, we’re talking about the bone disease osteoporosis.

While osteoporosis can affect both men and women, nearly eighty percent of patients diagnosed with osteoporosis are women. As a female, you need to know the signs of bone disease and the preventative measures you can take to keep your bones strong and healthy.

1. Age

As infants, our skeletal frames have a great deal of development left to happen. Our bones have to strengthen and become denser and more rigid over the course of many years. However, by our mid-twenties, most of us have reached the peak of our bone growth and as we continue to age, our bones actually start to deteriorate and lose density. Because of this natural phenomenon, our risk of osteoporosis increases as we age. While we can’t stop the aging process, we can work to strengthen our bones against the deterioration age causes.

2. Diet

Your mother was right! We need calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Calcium can be found in foods such as milk, broccoli, oranges, yogurt, almonds, and cheese. If you prefer, you can also take a daily calcium supplement to ensure that you are getting the recommended amounts.

However, if your calcium-rich diet also includes high-sodium, processed foods, your body may not be using all the calcium you eat effectively. Studies have found that a high-sodium diet leads to an increased loss of calcium through urination. Consider a diet that is high in calcium-rich foods, like the foods listed above, and avoid processed foods or dishes full of sodium to ensure that your diet is working for your bones and not against them.

3. Medications

Did you know that osteoporosis can be triggered by some prescription medications? There are several commonly prescribed medications used to treat different ailments that also affect bone density negatively. We typically see the effects of drug-induced osteoporosis in older adults, but these prescriptions can also be prescribed to younger patients and speed up bone deterioration.

One of the best examples of this situation is the SGLT2 inhibitor Invokana. This medication is prescribed to patients with Type 2 diabetes to block glucose from entering the bloodstream. Invokana is incredibly helpful and lifesaving for many diabetics. On the flip side, patients taking Invokana have a greater risk of bone fractures in addition to several other harmful side effects. To avoid drug-induced osteoporosis or any unnatural loss of bone density, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the risks, side effects, and alternatives to the medications you are prescribed.

4. Exercise

Regular exercise is an important part of maintaining strong, healthy bones. Firstly, we need to take part in frequent weight-bearing activities that test our skeletons ability to hold our weight. Think about activities like walking, hiking, dancing, or playing tennis. Secondly, we need to strengthen our muscles with resistance training. This can be anything from lifting weights to lifting your own body weight. Essentially, you are fighting gravity to build muscle, slow bone loss, and potentially prevent serious falls or injuries.

Unlike many other disease that show outward symptoms, most people don’t realize that they have low bone density or osteoporosis until they have fractured several bones or have taken a bone density test. It’s important to commit to a healthy lifestyle that protects you from serious diseases and health conditions like osteoporosis. Make a small change today and protect your tomorrow.

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