Myths About Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is not serious enough for me to
Osteoporosis is serious because it
progressively and irreversibly weakens our bones
to the point that any movement, even a bump or
fall, can cause a painful, debilitating fracture
of the hip, spine or other bones. Chronic pain
and disability are lasting effects of
osteoporosis which can permanently change the
way you live, work and enjoy your free time. One
frequent outcome to osteoporosis is hip
fracture, which each year causes nearly as many
deaths in the United States as all auto
healthy person. I do the right things. I am not
Unfortunately, we can't feel how strong
our bones are. That's why osteoporosis is called
a "silent thief." Without knowing it, you could
be losing your bone tissue, even if you think
you're doing the right things, including
exercise and eating a calcium-rich diet.
Osteoporosis is increasingly widespread. One in
two women and one in eight men over the age of
50 are at risk of developing fractures from
osteoporosis and experiencing the loss of
vitality and independence that accompany this
I'm too young to worry about osteoporosis now.
It's never too early to prevent
osteoporosis. Building strong bones and keeping
them strong gives you a head start when bone
loss occurs. The fact is that bone is a living,
growing tissue which constantly rebuilds. Bone
strength increases during our youth until "peak
bone mass" is reached in our 20's or early 30's.
After that time all of us gradually lose bone
mass because more bone tissue is removed than
generated. When bone loss is excessive, such as
when women lose the protective effects of
estrogen following menopause, osteoporosis may
develop. This is why women are at greater risk
for osteoporosis and the fractures that result
It's too late for me to do anything about
Osteoporosis is defined as excessive loss
of bone tissue. Bones break when they become too
thin and too weak. Fortunately, it's never too
late to take steps to slow or stop the further
loss of bone. The time to detect osteoporosis is
now before so much bone is lost that
debilitating fractures occur. If you. are
diagnosed with osteoporosis, your doctor can
prescribe a diet and exercise program tailored
to your needs. There are also several
medications currently available to prevent
further bone loss and help you preserve an
active lifestyle and avoid the consequences of
Osteoporosis is inflamed bone, so if I have it, I
will be stiff and sore.
Osteoporotic bones are weak and brittle,
not inflamed. Even if you have osteoporosis, you may
feel no pain at all.
is a rare disease.
Osteoporosis is more common than breast or
ovarian cancer. And in postmenopausal women, it's as
common as heart disease.
dangerous or life-threatening.
Hip fractures, which can be caused by
osteoporosis, are one of the two top causes of death
for older women.
Osteoporosis is a
"woman's disease." Men don't need to worry about
While men are not as likely to
develop osteoporosis, men can suffer hip, spinal,
and other fractures, too. Men who have taken
have abused alcohol, or have reduced
testosterone (a male hormone) levels are more likely
to develop osteoporosis.
I am too young (or
too old) to worry about osteoporosis.
The younger you start worrying
about osteoporosis and taking steps to prevent it,
the better off you'll be. Eat right, exercise, and
plenty of calcium. But even if you haven't done
anything about it yet, it's not too late. You can
slow bone loss by taking care of yourself;
your doctor if you're unsure how to get started.
get enough calcium, so I don't need to worry about
If you're getting enough calcium,
you've taken a big step toward preventing
osteoporosis, but it's not the only step. You need
weight-bearing exercise and talk to your
doctor about any other preventive measures you can
Osteoporosis is an old lady's disease
Women in their
twenties and thirties can get osteoporosis.
Fortunately, this doesn’t happen very often.
Prolonged use of steroid medications,
periods of eating disorders combined with excessive
exercise can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
It is also estimated that two million men
osteoporosis, many of whom go untreated. To keep a
perspective, a man is more likely to suffer an
osteoporosis-related fracture during
than he is to get prostate cancer.
Osteoporosis is a normal part of aging
studies show that throughout the world most
individuals lose bone mass as they age. The
remaining bone, however, is usually strong
support the stresses and strains of daily activity.
The bone remains healthy and capable of constant
self-repair. The bone loss of osteoporosis
beyond that of normal aging. It is an abnormal
condition in which the bones become excessively thin
due to loss of mineral and lose their capacity
harm your bones by interfering with calcium
You may have read that the
phosphorus in carbonated beverages interferes with
calcium absorption, but this belief is a myth.
Calcium absorption can
indeed suffer if you consume
too much phosphorus. That is because both calcium
and phosphorus require vitamin D for proper
absorption. An excess
of phosphorus means that less
vitamin D is available for processing calcium, so
calcium absorption is reduced.
Although soda is a negligible
source of phosphorus in the typical American diet.
Most sodas have no phosphorus at all, and even those
that do contain
phosphorus have modest amounts
compared to other common foods.
The real cause for concern about
soda is that some people--especially children and
teenagers--drink soda instead of milk, and as a
result they don't
consume enough calcium.
After menopause, women can prevent osteoporosis
by consuming more calcium
Extra calcium can
help build strong bones if women are premenopausal,
but the lone act of increasing calcium consumption
has never shown to increase
bone density or prevent
fractures in older women. Vitamin D is necessary as
well to compliment the calcium. The combination has
dramatic effects: bone
significantly and fractures are reduced by 50
Weight-bearing exercise is
another important factor for maintaining bone
density. In a study conducted by researchers at
Tufts University, women
between the ages of 50 to 70
who strength-trained twice a week gained an average
of 1 percent in their bone density while their
did not exercise lost about 2
percent of their bone density