Osteoporosis is low bone density, or porous bones. Your bones should be dense and solid. There are varying degrees of bone density. Osteoporosis is when the bone density is pathological and you are at a risk for fracture. The type of fracture that is of most concern is a hip fracture. When you have osteoporosis, there is also a higher risk of mortality, high risk of morbidity.
Osteopenia is when there is a decrease in bone density, so you are almost osteoporotic, but you are not quite there yet.
What causes osteoporosis?
The most common cause of osteoporosis is being post menopause. After menopause, a woman's estrogen decreases and with that, you get less of a calcium build-up in your bones. Women, after the age of about 52 (51-52 is the average age of menopause), you may start to see osteoporosis.
Some women have had their ovaries removed, or have had a hysterectomy (sometimes they remove the ovaries, sometimes they take it out), which can happen at any age, often if you have uterine fibroids. These women are also more susceptible to osteoporosis.
It is not common for men to have osteoporosis. Dr. JJ has a few male patients with osteoporosis. It is usually because they are not physically active or it runs in their family. There is also a genetic association to osteoporosis. If there is a family history, you are more susceptible to osteoporosis.
How can you prevent osteoporosis? What can you do to prevent osteoporosis?
The main things you can do to prevent osteoporosis are: exercising, eating foods high in calcium and taking supplements.
Exercise: You need to do weight bearing exercise like walking, jogging, soccer, tennis. These forms of physical activity put strain on your bones which makes them stronger and denser. A non-weight bearing exercise like swimming is good for your healthy, but it doesn't benefit your bones.
Eat foods that are high in calcium: like spinach, broccoli, dairy, sesame seeds, molasses.
Calcium with Vitamin D and Magnesium
Daily dose of calcium:
Woman- pre-menopausal 1,000 mg/day