This condition affects half of women above age 50. Here’s what you can do about it
Ladies, listen up: It’s time to stop ignoring your bone health. Because osteoporosis has virtually zero symptoms, you could have it and not even know it. Even more sobering, the death rate associated with osteoporosis-related fracture is greater than that of breast cancer and heart disease combined.
Know Your Risk
The condition affects more than 200 million women worldwide, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.
Risk factors for osteoporosis include:
- Being Caucasian or Asian
- Being thin
- Chronic drinking
- Family history of osteoporosis
- History of eating disorders
- Not enough exposure to sunlight
- Not getting enough vitamin D and/or calcium
- Poor nutrition
- Steroid use
- Thyroid problems
Take Action Today
The good news is that it’s never too early or too late for women to start taking care of their bones — and one of the best ways to do that is with regular exercise.
Doctors like Frank Isabelle, MD, Ob/Gyn at OhioHealth, recommend exercise as one of the lifestyle changes you can make to strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis.
You may be worried about how safe it is to exercise as you get older, or you may not have a lot of previous experience with exercise and aren’t quite sure what you should do. Don’t let these reasons stand between you and good bone health — regular workouts can turn back the hands of time. Osteoporosis prevention and exercise go hand-in-hand, but you should talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
If you are faced with an osteoporosis diagnosis, know what treatment is available. In the early stages, you can manage the condition with iron, calcium and weight-bearing exercises. Women with osteoporosis symptoms can also make lifestyle modifications and your doctor may prescribe medications to help improve your bone health.
Need a doctor? Click here to find a women’s health specialist.