Osteoporosis affects 10 million people in the United States. Women experience bone loss more than men but men don’t get a pass. The statistics are that 1 in 4 men have bone loss and don’t realize it. The causes of osteoporosis in women and men are about the same, but the lifestyle habits of men are something to consider.
In this article we cover some contributing factors in bone loss in men and provide some lifestyle changes you (or your man) can make to help minimize bone loss.
By the time a man is 65 or 70, his bone mass is significantly declining. While you can’t do anything about aging you CAN make changes that slow down bone loss and by being aware you can catch it early enough to improve your bone strength.
- Alcohol abuse
- Steroid medications used to treat diseases such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis
- Abnormally low levels of sex hormones
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Poor nutrition
What should I do?
Recognize you’re at risk of bone loss. There’s no room for macho-like thinking in healthcare.
Talk to your doctor about ordering a bone density test.
The scan can identify thin bones, determine your risk for fractures (broken bones), and measure your response to osteoporosis treatment.
TIP: Write down the bone density test machine brand and location where you had it done (things I wish I had done). Dr. Susan Brown, medical anthropologist, says the only way to get an accurate bone health reading is to use the same machine every time you get a scan.
Can I prevent bone loss?
Bone loss occurs in everyone with age but you CAN protect your bones. PREVENTION is key. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Avoid smoking
- Reduce alcohol
- Talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement
I eat a healthy diet, drink milk and exercise. Am I still at risk?
Yes. You can be doing all of the right things and still lose bone due to aging, family or medical history, certain medications, disease, or simply not enough vitamin D.
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