Osteoporosis Awareness Month 2014; part 2
Osteoporosis is serious and becoming far too common. Each year the risk of suffering a fracture from osteoporosis is greater than the combined risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or breast cancer in women. About 52 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
What we do before age 25 has the greatest effect on our bone health. When we are young and growing our bones store more calcium and minerals than we use, building stronger bones and creating a “baseline” level of bone strength. The more bone you build by age 25, called a point called peak bone mass, the less likely you will develop osteoporosis as you age. After age 25 we tend to loose more bone than we build, interestingly enough we also loose .5% to 1% of muscle mass per year. How much bone you loose can be be influenced by how much you exercise and more specifically how much you strength train. Bone loss increases after menopause, when estrogen levels drop sharply, in fact, in the five to seven years after menopause, women can lose up to 20 percent or more of their bone density. You can effect your bone density as you age, but it is far harder than when you were younger. With BStrong4Life we have keyed onto a way to influence bone health that is arguably the easiest way for anyone to do.
The most common people at risk for developing osteoporosis are women over 50 who are short and thin. As I mentioned above post menopausal women have in increased risk and people who have a family history of osteoporosis. Other risk factors include low levels of calcium and vitamin d, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, a diet poor in fruits and vegetables, a diet too high in protein, sodium and caffeine, and of course a sedentary lifestyle. There are also medications can cause or contribute to osteoporosis like steroids (glucocorticoids) such as cortisone and prednisone; Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Lexapro®, Prozac® and Zoloft®; Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium®, Prevacid® and Prilosec® to name a few. Diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Celiac Disease, Diabetes, Testosterone and Estrogen Levels in Men, Leukemia, and Lymphoma to name a few.
Osteoporosis is avoidable and manageable at all stages of life with the right combination of diet and lifestyle changes. If you have young children, encourage them to be physically active and be sure they are eating a healthy diet. If you are older, you need to have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. What kind of dietary factors you should be aware of and what exercise you should do I will discuss in another post this month.
Stay tuned for more bone health information.
My primary source for these posts is the National Osteoporosis Foundation.