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Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break and result in a fracture. Osteoporosis is the most common disease affecting bones.

In the United States, eight million women and two million men have osteoporosis and many more are at risk. The disease causes more than one million broken bones annually, mainly at the hip, spine, or wrist.

Most people attain their level of peak bone mass between the ages of 30 and 35. Factors contributing to bone loss include aging, menopause, smoking, family history, and steroid therapy.

To build bone mass and slow bone loss:

  1. Give your body the calcium it needs.
  2. Obtain Vitamin D daily. Vitamin D helps your body utilize calcium. Vitamin D is obtained from sunshine. 15 to 20 minutes of sunshine daily is desirable. Eating fortified foods (like cereal and milk) or taking a daily multivitamin will provide the recommended 400 IU of vitamin D.
  3. Exercise regularly. Exercise that stresses your bones and muscles (like walking, stair climbing, or lifting weights) can help strengthen bones. Strong muscles can reduce your chance of falling.
  4. Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol can slow down bone building.
  5. Avoid excess salt. Reducing sodium intake helps you hold onto calcium better.
  6. Don’t smoke. Smoking is a risk factor for bone loss.
  7. Be sure to discuss osteoporosis, its prevention, diagnosis and treatment with your doctor.

View a PDF of Recommended Calcium Intake

Calcium supplements can be either Calcium Carbonate or Calcium Citrate. Most any brand of supplement, as long as it meets the recommended amount per day, will work. Some examples that Dr. Dulaney’s patients have found helpful include:

Calcium Carbonate:

  • Caltrate 600 – 1 – 2 tabs daily
  • Viactiv – 2 tabs daily
  • Tums – 2 tabs daily
  • Adora – milk chocolate laced with calcium

Calcium Citrate:

  • Citracal – 4 tabs daily
  • Oscal – 3 tabs daily

The only sure way to determine bone density and fracture risk for osteoporosis is to have a bone mass measurement (also called bone mineral density test or BMD test). At Women & Children First, we use the latest technology to perform our BMD tests. A BMD test is a special low-dose x-ray and is often referred to as a DEXA test. The results can help Dr. Dulaney decide whether to begin a prevention or treatment program. All women age 65 and older should be considered for this test. Women younger than 65 with two or more risk factors besides menopause should also be considered for this test.

Risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  1. Low calcium and vitamin D intake
  2. Smoking
  3. Excess alcohol
  4. Lack of exercise
  5. Family history of osteoporosis
  6. Caucasian or Asian heritage
  7. Excess thyroid hormone
  8. Estrogen deficiency in women
  9. Steroid therapy
  10. Small body frame

If you already have osteoporosis, your bones still need calcium, vitamin D, and exercise. But your body also needs extra help to build bone and stop bone loss. Talk to Dr. Dulaney about the best options for protecting your bones from fracture.

To learn more, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website at www.nof.org or the Texas Department of Health’s Osteoporosis Awareness and Education Program.


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