Is Osteoporosis Inevitable?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bones lose density, become very porous, and become more susceptible to fractures. Osteoporosis is of particular concern for older adults because later in life, the body doesn’t make enough new bone mass to replace the bone tissue that is broken down. Orthopaedic doctors note that, although bone loss is certainly inevitable later in life, getting osteoporosis isn’t. Here’s how you can improve your bone health and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Build up bone mass before age 30.

If you haven’t turned 30 yet, you have a great opportunity to significantly reduce your risk of osteoporosis later in life. That’s because, prior to age 30, the body makes more new bone mass than it breaks down. After this point, bone loss begins to gradually outpace bone production. Here are some quick tips to build up maximum bone mass before age 30.

  • Include sources of calcium and vitamin D in your diet to support strong bones.
  • Never start smoking or quit promptly if you already do. Smoking deteriorates bone health.
  • Avoid alcohol, as this also increases the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Enjoy regular exercise. Consider trying physical therapy if you’re having trouble getting active.

Know your risk factors and get screened for osteoporosis.

At some point, everyone should have a screening test for osteoporosis. This noninvasive test can reveal whether you have osteopenia or low bone density. A diagnosis of osteopenia gives you the opportunity to prevent it from developing into osteoporosis. Orthopaedic doctors recommend that the following people get screened:

  • Women ages 65 and older
  • Men ages 70 and older
  • Anyone who breaks a bone after age 50

Additionally, some patients may benefit from earlier screening if they have any of these risk factors:

  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Small, thin body type
  • Diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Diet high in caffeine, sodium, and protein

If your bone density test does reveal osteopenia, your doctor can recommend lifestyle changes and possibly medications to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

At MK Orthopaedics, it’s our mission to help our patients enjoy high quality of life through better health. Call (815) 741-6900 to request a consultation with one of our orthopaedic doctors near Joliet. We can help you prevent or treat osteoporosis, or treat fractures arising from osteoporosis.

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