Did you know over 53 million Americans have osteoporosis, a disease that affects the health of your bones? This serious condition causes your bone tissue to deteriorate, reducing your bone mass and increasing your risk of fractures.
Our team of board-certified internal medicine physicians at Beth and Howard Braver, MD, specialize in diagnosing and treating osteoporosis. We also assess your risk of getting this health condition.
Understand your risk factors to protect your bone health and take steps to minimize your chances of developing osteoporosis. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about osteoporosis and whether you’re at risk.
What puts me at risk of developing osteoporosis?
Once you’re done growing, it may seem like your bones don’t change. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your bones are constantly growing in a process called remodeling.
Remodeling helps ensure your bones stay strong enough to support your body, with old bone cells dying and new ones forming in their place. We evaluate your bone strength as one factor in predicting your risk of developing osteoporosis.
But bone strength alone isn’t the full story. We use it along with other risk factors to better understand your chances of developing osteoporosis and make recommendations to improve the health of your bones.
Here’s a closer look at the factors that increase your risk of osteoporosis:
Having low bone density
Your bone mass, the quantity of minerals in your bones, helps determine your bone strength. Bone mass is usually at its highest in your late 20s but may decline as you age. The lower your bone mass, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
Being over 50 or a woman in menopause
By the time you’re in your 30s, you start to lose bone material faster than your body can remodel it. As a result, your bones become less dense, raising your risk of osteoporosis.
Menopause causes hormonal changes, such as a drop in estrogen, that speed up bone loss, also increasing your risk of the disease.
Not eating for bone health
If you don’t follow a healthy diet, you’re unlikely to get the calcium and vitamin D you need to keep your bones healthy and strong. This increases your risk of osteoporosis. You can lower your risk by avoiding all processed foods and choosing a diet rich in bone-healthy foods, like dark leafy greens, broccoli, tofu, and almonds.
Not exercising or getting enough physical activity
One of the worst things for your bone health is a sedentary or mostly sedentary lifestyle. Exercise and physical activity encourage your body to continue remodeling and generate more bone material so your skeleton can support movement when your muscles pull against your bones.
If you’re inactive, though, your body won’t use energy to remodel your bones and build a strong skeleton. Engaging in regular weight-bearing exercise reduces your risk of osteoporosis.
Using tobacco and drinking alcohol
If you smoke, you have more than double the risk of developing osteoporosis compared to people who don’t use tobacco. Tobacco affects your body’s ability to absorb calcium and other minerals. Drinking alcohol also increases your risk in the same way.
How do I learn if I have osteoporosis or am at risk for it?
At the private practice of Beth and Howard Braver, MD, we’re happy to discuss osteoporosis, review your risk factors, and evaluate the current health of your bones.
For patients with osteoporosis, we help you slow the progression of this degenerative disease and manage any pain you’re experiencing.
The best way to slow the progress of osteoporosis is by making key lifestyle changes. We create a customized list of recommendations based on your situation. We may also prescribe medications to support bone mass, encourage remodeling, and minimize your risk of fracture.
Are you interested in learning more about osteoporosis and your risk factors? Schedule an appointment today at our Aventura or Hollywood, Florida, office.