As you may already know, being a female puts you at risk of developing osteoporosis and broken bones. There are multiple reasons why women are more like to get osteoporosis then men. First of all, women tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men. In addition, estrogen is a hormone in women that protects bones; therefore, the chance of developing osteoporosis increases around the time of menopause, when estrogen levels drop sharply. In fact, in the five to seven years following menopause, a woman can lose up to 20% of her bone density.
Here are some facts:
- Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women.
- Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
- A women's risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
Thirty years ago, most people considered osteoporosis and broken bones to be a part of normal aging. That view has changed. Today, we know a lot more about how you can protect your bones throughout your life by eating healthy, exercising and making healthy lifestyle-choices. And although it's never too late to start protecting your bones, the best time to begin is while you're young. But, if you already have osteoporosis or are at risk for it, the good news is that there are many things you can do to prevent bone loss and broken bones.
important to build strong and healthy bones in your early years to avoid bone
problems later in life. A diet rich in vitamins and calcium, along with
exercise, are the best defenses against the most pervasive condition affecting
women—osteoporosis. This is a condition where the bones lose their density
and become fragile making them more prone to fractures. This condition, while
thought to be exclusive to the elderly, can strike at any age. In advanced stages, bones may break with the
least amount of stress, such as lifting a bag of groceries or tugging on a
After age 30, a woman should talk to her doctor about osteoporosis. Older women should be particularly concerned as estrogen deficiency has been
identified as a significant cause of accelerated bone loss in women during
and after menopause. Risk factors include:
- Small, thin frame or excessive thinness
- Personal and/or family history of broken bones as
- Diet low in calcium
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Inactive lifestyle
- Low testosterone levels in men
- Advanced age
- Anorexia nervosa
- Long term use of certain medications; prolonged