Osteoporosis a Health Concern for Everyone, Including Men

DAYTON, Ohio (February 3, 2016) - Not taking good care of your bones when you’re younger can cause you to develop osteoporosis later in life.

Statistics tell us that osteoporosis is a disease that occurs most often in older women, but also can affect men, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that happens when bones get weak and become more likely to break. People with osteoporosis frequently break hip, spine, and wrist bones. About 2 million American men already live with osteoporosis, and there are about 12 million more men at risk, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF).

Of men older than 50, osteoporosis will cause up to one in four to break a bone, according to the NOF. That makes men older than 50 more likely to break a bone because of osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.

Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because there are no warning signs. Some people do not know they are living with osteoporosis until they have a serious bump or fall that causes a bone break or fracture. However, osteoporosis should not considered an accepted part of aging and individuals need to know there are things that can be done to prevent the disease.

Preventing osteoporosis should begin in childhood although no one is ever too old to help improve their bone health. There are steps an individual can take to build strong, healthy bones:

  • avoid smoking
  • don’t drink more than two to three alcoholic drinks a day
  • eat a well-balanced diet
  • exercise regularly, including both weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercise
  • get enough calcium
  • get enough vitamin D

It’s important for men to know that taking too many steroid medications and having untreated low testosterone also can increase their risk of developing osteoporosis, according to the NOF. Although men and women alike face some osteoporosis risk factors they cannot control – such as family history – making healthy lifestyle choices is everyone’s best defense against the disease.

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