As we age, it’s normal for our bones to become weaker. However, there is a difference between natural weakening that occurs over time and osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which a person’s bones become very brittle and fragile. A seemingly minor bump or fall can easily become a fracture for people with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is one of the leading causes of disability for adults in the US, especially senior citizens. And unfortunately, the International Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that the disease will increase by 310% in men and by 240% in women by the year 2050. Despite how common osteoporosis is, there is much that many people may not know or understand about the disease. That’s why the healthcare providers at Family Practice Center wanted to set the record straight on what is true and what is false about osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Affects Men and Women Equally
This is false. While it’s a fact that osteoporosis can affect both men and women, women are far more likely to experience this condition. In fact, about 80% of the roughly 50 million Americans currently living with osteoporosis are women. Still, it’s important for men to be aware of their risk of developing osteoporosis and take a proactive approach to the health of their bones.
Many People May Not Know They Have Osteoporosis
Unfortunately, this is true. Osteoporosis has been referred to some experts as a “silent disease” due to the fact that many people who suffer from it may not even be aware of their disease. Without receiving a test to measure their bone density, many people do not discover that they have osteoporosis until they have broken a bone.
Osteoporosis Can Lead to Other Serious Health Conditions
This is true. In addition to bone fractures, complications from osteoporosis and resulting surgeries can lead to other potentially serious health issues, or even death. Osteoporosis is a leading cause of hip fractures that may require hip replacement surgery to repair. Some older patients may experience complications from anesthesia, as well as issues during their recovery like certain infections, pneumonia, or heart attacks.
Weakened Bones Cannot Get Stronger.
This is false. For younger people with strong bones and older ones who fear their bones have already diminished, there is a perception that there is nothing that can be done to help strengthen their bones. The truth is that it’s never too early, or too late, for a person to try to improve their bone health. Daily doses of calcium and vitamin D can help build up bone strength for people of all ages.
If you’re concerned about osteoporosis, there are things we recommend to help keep your bones healthy as the years go on including getting regular daily exercise and avoiding smoking. It’s also wise to ask about bone health during visits with your primary care doctor, including annual physicals, to see what you can do to promote strong, healthy bones. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers today, please contact Family Practice Center. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, and so much more.