By 2020, one in two Americans over age 50 is expected to have or be at risk of developing osteoporosis, according to a report released by the United State Surgeon General. Don’t let it be you.
What is Osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that occurs when you lose too much bone, make too little bone, or both. This causes bones to become weak and susceptible to breakage from minor incidents. Bones of those who have osteoporosis are more porous than healthy bones.
What Puts You at Risk
- being over age 50
- being female
- low levels of estrogen (as experienced during menopause) and testosterone
- family history of osteoporosis
- small body frame
- previous history of broken bones
Strengthen Your Bones To prevent your chances of osteoporosis, make sure to do the following:
- Get enough calcium, magnesium, protein, and Vitamin D in your diet.
- Have a regular fitness routine that includes weight-bearing exercises.
- Be sure not to consume too much sodium or caffeine.
- Stop smoking and limit your alcohol intake.
What’s Your T-Score? To look for osteoporosis, experts recommend older adults periodically get a bone density test – a simple, painless X-ray test that takes 5 to 10 minutes and uses very little radiation. After the procedure, your doctor will give you what’s called a “T-score.”
- A T-score between -1 and -2.5 indicates low bone mass.
- A T-score below -2.5 indicates you have osteoporosis.