After An Osteoporosis Diagnosis, Managing Bone Health Is A Lifelong Commitment
(NAPS) - In the United States, nearly 8 million women suffer from osteoporosis-a disease that causes bones to become fragile and at increased risk for breaking. During the postmenopausal years, more and more women expect to maintain a fulfilling lifestyle, even when battling osteoporosis.
Bones serve as the body's foundation, protecting vital organs and allowing people to stand tall. Without the right bone-health management plan, osteoporosis often leads to loss of height, a hunched appearance or, worse, a life-changing break. Breaking a bone is a serious risk when you have osteoporosis. In fact, osteoporosis-related fractures are more common in women than heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer combined. And one woman out of every two with the disease will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime.
Unfortunately, not enough women battling osteoporosis are aware of their fracture risk. While there are several risk factors for fracture, low bone density is a significant warning sign that you are at risk for breaking a bone. Bone density is determined by a body scan that provides a bone density measure called a T-score. Knowing if your T-scores are getting better, worse or staying the same will help you understand your current fracture risk.
The good news is that there are things you can do to make your bones stronger to reduce or even prevent your risk for breaking a bone. A couple of easy ways to increase your bone strength and reduce your risk for fracture are to add more calcium to your diet and increase the amount of weight-bearing exercises, such as walking or lifting light weights.
But that may not be enough. Talk to your doctor, who may be armed with new information about developments in treatment, nutrition and exercise. Finding the right disease management program and being committed to it will help you maintain your lifestyle.
And don't stop there. Increase your own knowledge about osteoporosis and what you can do to help keep your bones strong. Register at KnowMyBones.com to receive regular tips on keeping your bones strong. You can share this new information with friends and loved ones, too. If you find that starting a conversation about osteoporosis is difficult, try one of these easy conversation starters to get the discussion going. They'll thank you for it later.
Did you know that you could be at risk for osteoporosis even if it doesn't run in your family? We could be at risk without even knowing. I printed for you these tools from KnowMyBones.com that will help you evaluate your fracture risk.
I think this is a great time to talk about our family history and our need to actively manage our bone strength to prevent a fracture.
If you are interested, I can also share some calcium-rich recipes you may want to try. There are also exercise tips at KnowMyBones.com you may want to check out along with some questions you can use as a guide when you speak with your doctor about your bone health.
To learn more about stronger bones, visit KnowMyBones.com or call (800) 917-1248 for free information on osteoporosis, tips for eating smart and staying active, and an important list of questions to take with you to your next doctor's appointment.
Ask your doctor if you're doing everything you can to help keep your bones strong. If you haven't been diagnosed with osteoporosis, find out if you are at risk for this silent disease and begin the conversation with your doctor.