How to Lower Your Risk for Osteoporosis

As you grow older, your bones can become more fragile and put you at risk for developing osteoporosis, where your bones lose density. Left untreated, osteoporosis gets worse, putting you in danger of fractures. Broken bones, or the fear of fractures, can sideline you from the activities you love.  

With treatment and lifestyle changes, you can lower your risk of developing osteoporosis and even reverse the effects of the disease. Our team of physicians at Family Health Center of Bastrop, in Bastrop and Smithville, Texas, wants you to understand the main risk factors for osteoporosis and how to lower your chances of having the condition.

Osteoporosis explained

When your bones lose density, they can become brittle and porous, a condition known as osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis are at greater risk of developing bone fractures, especially in the hips, wrists, and spine. In extreme osteoporosis cases, even a simple cough could cause your bones to break.

In the early stages, you might not even know you have osteoporosis. As the disease progresses, however, you may develop a stooped posture and back pain. 

Common risk factors

Certain factors can put you at greater risk for developing osteoporosis. Some of them are beyond your control, but you still can take steps to slow the onset or the progression of osteoporosis. 

Gender

If you’re a woman, you are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis. Women generally have smaller, lighter bones than men.

Genetics

If your parents, siblings, or grandparents have or had osteoporosis, you’re more likely to develop the condition, too.

Age

Bone density decreases after age 30. Women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis after menopause when estrogen decreases. Testosterone loss from aging increases the risk of osteoporosis for men.

Bone structure and ethnicity

People with a small or petite bone structure are at greater risk for developing osteoporosis. Caucasian and Asian people are more likely to get osteoporosis than other ethnicities.

Medications and medical conditions 

Certain medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disorders, increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Also, some medications, such as corticosteroids, increase your odds for osteoporosis. 

Alcohol and tobacco use

Smokers and people who drink alcohol heavily are more likely to get osteoporosis. Both habits are bad for bone health.

How we treat osteoporosis

Regular bone density scans are the best way to monitor your bone health and risk of osteoporosis. If your scan shows you’re at risk for or have developed osteoporosis, our team can create a plan to help you manage the condition and prevent it from causing problems. 

Lifestyle changes mitigate your chances of developing osteoporosis or worsening the condition. Our medical experts might recommend increasing your physical activity, performing weight-bearing exercises regularly, increasing your calcium intake, quitting smoking, and reducing your alcohol intake.

We may prescribe bisphosphonates, a class of drugs that strengthens bones. We also may recommend hormone therapy if an imbalance is contributing to weak bones.

To learn more about preventing and treating osteoporosis, you can schedule an appointment with the medical professionals at Family Health Center of Bastrop by calling the office near you or by using our online booking tool.

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