Dr. Siris shares how women can prevent osteoporosis.
To prevent osteoporosis it’s kind of a lifelong challenge. Again, remember osteoporosis is the term for weaker bones than are desirable and the consequence is fracture. So when we talk about preventing osteoporosis, we’re talking both about preventing bone loss and also preventing the fractures that may occur because of bone loss.
So from the time you’re born you want to be sure you’re getting good nutrition, you want to make sure that you’re leading a healthy lifestyle which means that adolescence shouldn’t smoke. We should try to avoid people developing eating disorders. As you get to the stage of life where you’re doing a lot of physical activity, physical activity is great for building bone during the years you build bone. Excessive physical activity is bad for bone.
So if a woman is a runner to the degree that she loses her menstrual periods, which means that she is not making estrogen adequately, that’s bad for bone. You want to lead a clean lifestyle through your 30s, 40s and 50s and then at menopause you realize you’re now at the phase where you’re going to start losing bone and that’s when you want to make sure you’re getting enough calcium, you’re getting enough vitamin D for your bones, that you’re continuing to be physically active so that the rest of you is strong. So that as you age, you’re less likely to fall down a lot.
You want to talk to your doctor about your bone health, see what your risk factors are. Have a bone density test, if that makes sense for you. And then if necessary, there are medications that will prevent osteoporosis and fractures.
About Dr. Ethel Siris, M.D.:
Dr. Ethel S. Siris is the Director at the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center, Columbia University, is the Madeline C. Stabile Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, and is the immediate past-President for the National Osteoporosis Foundation. She is board certified in endocrinology and internal medicine, focusing on osteoporosis, metabolic bone disease, and bone and mineral metabolism.