Current statistics indicate that approximately 44 million adults in the United States have osteoporosis or low bone mass that can eventually lead to this disease. Osteoporosis is a common problem in adults aged 55 years and older. Osteoporosis can make it much more likely for an older adult to suffer from a serious bone fracture if they fall or become injured in some other manner. What is osteoporosis and who is most at risk of developing it? The following paragraphs will answer these questions.
What is Osteoporosis?
Bone is a living tissue present throughout the human body. When this living tissue undergoes loss of mass, it can become brittle and easier to break. This condition is called osteoporosis and is a leading cause of bone fractures in older adults.
Who is Most at Risk for Developing Osteoporosis?
- While osteoporosis can strike anyone at any time, it is most common in specific groups of people. The following is a list of some of the most common factors that impact who develops osteoporosis.
- Women are at a much greater risk of developing osteoporosis than men.
- Both men and women aged 65 years or older at among the highest risk for developing osteoporosis.
- Those with a family history of osteoporosis may be more likely to develop the disease themselves.
- Caucasian and Asian women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than women of other races.
- Smaller women or those below a weight of approximately 125 pounds are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis.
Tips for Preventing Loss of Bone Mass
Some loss of bone mass, especially in association with the natural aging process, simply cannot be avoided. However, there are steps that both men and women can take to reduce bone mass loss.
Consuming a diet that is rich in calcium, magnesium, and similar types of minerals can help to prevent the formation of osteoporosis. Foods high in these bone building minerals include yogurt, milk, cheese, dark leafy green vegetables, certain types of fish, and nuts. The same balanced diet that helps to prevent osteoporosis will also reduce the risk of many other physical ailments.
Weight Bearing Exercise
Weight bearing exercise such as walking, running, and weight lifting is an important part of keeping the bones healthy. Since bones are living materials, they constantly undergo changes. Bones can be kept strong by engaging in forms of exercise that put a slight strain on them, forcing them to become stronger and healthier in the process.
How to Avoid Dangerous Falls
It is important that older individuals exercise caution when moving about, especially if they live alone. Falls can be a very scary thing to endure, and if an older individual is alone when a fall occurs, they could be stuck in this dangerous position for hours until help arrives. Installing safety rails throughout the home can help prevent falls. It's also important to keep a clear path for walking through the home and to remove rugs or other tripping hazards.
Osteoporosis is a very common medical condition affecting older adults throughout the United States. While it cannot be avoided entirely, there are steps that can be taken to reduce bone loss and avoid potentially dangerous falls. If you suffer from osteoporosis or any other common disorders affecting the bones or joints, we are here to help. Please contact Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates if you are in need of an orthopedic treatment or surgical procedure. Our dedicated and experienced medical staff can promptly direct you to the best treatment options for your specific needs.