1. People with osteoporosis have weak, brittle bones that are more prone to breaking. Very year 1.5 million older Americans get a fracture because of osteoporosis. In women over 45 years of age, osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in hospital than many other diseases, including diabetes, myocardial infarction and breast cancer.
2. Women make up about 80% of the 10 million Americans with osteoporosis. There are a few explanations for why women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. Women naturally tend to have thinner, smaller bones than men. Estrogen, a hormone that protects bones, diminishes with age, which can contribute to the weakening of bones.
3. Fractures caused by osteoporosis most often occur in the spine. Vertebrae compression fractures are almost twice as common as other fractures caused by osteoporosis like broken hips and wrists.
4. Most importantly, osteoporosis can be prevented. A healthy lifestyle keeps your bones strong. This means eating a nutritious diet with enough calcium intake, participation in regular physical activity, and avoiding smoking. Adults need between 1,000 and 1,200 mg of calcium every day to protect and strengthen bones. Low fat dairy, leafy greens, and salmon are all good sources of calcium. Your body also needs vitamin D to help absorb calcium, which you get from sun exposure.
5. Osteoporosis can’t be completely reversed, but there are ways to slow or stop its progress. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is important for slowing osteoporosis as well as preventing it. There are also medications available to reduce the risk of broken bones.