Patient Guide to Osteoporosis Prevention

Healthy Habits to Protect Your Bones

Written by Daniel J. Toft MD, PhD

Welcome to the Patient Guide to Osteoporosis Prevention.

If you are like many people, you may think that osteoporosis—a condition marked by low bone mineral density, which leads to lowered bone strength and a heightened risk of fractures—is something you will not have to worry about until later in life.

It’s true—age is a leading risk factor for osteoporosis. Women over the age of 50 have the highest risk of developing the condition.1 Beginning in midlife, men and women begin to experience a decline in bone mass, with women losing bone quickly in the years following menopause.

However, people of all ages can develop osteoporosis, and age is just 1 of many risk factors for the condition. In fact, it is estimated that your genetic makeup accounts for 50-90% of your bone mass, while lifestyle and environmental account for the rest. 2 That means that preventive lifestyle changes could reduce up to half of your osteoporosis risk.

That’s why it is important to take early steps to improve your bone health. Additionally, if you already have osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mineral density that is not low enough to be considered osteoporosis), this Patients’ Guide can help you build up your bones and protect them while you manage your condition.

Osteoporosis prevention requires a mix of eating right, appropriate physical activity, and active planning with your doctor to protect your bones. This Guide includes articles on everything from lowering controllable risk factors to nutritional tips that can lower your risk for osteoporosis. Other articles describe:

It is never too early to begin taking care of your bones and working to prevent or delay osteoporosis. By following the tips in this Patient Guide to Osteoporosis Prevention, you can make bone health a priority and help lower your risk for future problems. 

Sources

References

  1. Menopause and Osteoporosis. Cleveland Clinic Web site. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/menopause/hic_menopause_and_osteoporosis.aspx Updated March 4, 2011. Accessed October 4, 2012.
  2. Osteoporosis Handout on Health. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center Web site. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/osteoporosis_hoh.asp?print=yes Updated October 2011. Accessed October 4, 2012.

Sources

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Dietary Tips for Osteoporosis Prevention