Is Osteoporosis Preventable?

Dec 13, 2023
misc image
Osteoporosis is often thought of as an “old person’s disease,” but its causes are present early in life. Here’s what you can do to lower your risk and possibly prevent osteoporosis.

More than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, a condition that makes bones more likely to break. An additional 44 million have low bone density, or osteopenia, putting them at heightened risk for osteoporosis. The most common type of fracture caused by osteoporosis is a spinal compression fracture.

At Apex Endovascular, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Dr. Shawn Ahmed treats many patients with spine fractures caused by osteoporosis. Here are his tips on how to avoid this oft-preventable disease.

Osteoporosis basics

Osteoporosis is the slow thinning of the honeycomb-like walls that make up the interior of your bones. As these walls thin, bones become weak and brittle, allowing them to fracture easily. 

Your bone mass maxes out around the time you hit 30 years of age. After your mid-thirties, bone loss slowly starts to eat away at your bone structure from the inside out. It’s critical to achieve as much bone mass as possible by age 30, then continue healthy habits to slow bone density loss.

One of the top risk factors for osteoporosis is being female. Women typically have lower bone density than men, and lowered estrogen levels as they age causes rapid bone loss. Women are twice as likely to break a bone because of osteoporosis as men are.

Aging causes bone loss for both men and women. Hereditary factors can also come into play, as can being underweight, having a poor diet, being small, and being Caucasian. Here’s how to lower those risks and increase your chances of healthy bones after age 30.

Osteoporosis prevention

Preventing osteoporosis is something you can do with lifestyle changes and good health habits:

Eat right

Make sure that your healthy diet includes getting enough calcium and protein. These are building blocks for strong, sturdy bones. You also need plenty of vitamin D, which you can begin getting with just 15 minutes of daily sun exposure. Drink fortified milk or juices, and eat eggs, mushrooms, and oily fish to boost your vitamin D levels further.

Exercise properly

Stay active, and add weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises to your routine. Don’t take this too far, however! Watch your weight and don’t let your BMI slip below 19, as this can damage your bone health.

Cut bad habits

Smoking and heavy drinking are bad for your bone health, heart health, organ health, and more. If you indulge, keep cocktail hour to a minimum, and try to drop tobacco completely from your routine.

Worried about your risk for osteoporosis? Give us a call at 970-508-8439, or book a consultation online today.