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Osteoporosis Myths and Bone Health Facts

Emma Kalman
posted on 24th February 2017
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So, here are some of the popular myths about osteoporosis, but first, what exactly is osteoporosis?

It is a condition where the bones become weak and brittle thus susceptible to fractures and breaks.

Myths about osteoporosis

Drugs and diets to restore bone mass

Most of the bone mass we have is formed by early adulthood with the average age being 20 years for men and 18 years for women. As you grow older, your bone density and mass will peak in your mid-twenties to thirties and then further bone development slows down. Afterward, you will gradually lose bone mass, but the rate will differ from one person to the next. This is why osteoporosis is most common among those above 50 years of age.

While there are measures you can take to reduce the rate at which you lose bone mass, it is incredibly difficult to increase bone mass. Therefore, it is a myth that certain diets, medication or even lifestyle changes will build back your lost bone density. What these practices will do is to reduce the rate at which you’re losing bone mass, which is not very good news for someone who already has osteoporosis.

This does not mean that you should completely disregard any advised measures. In fact, by exercising, you get to strengthen your muscles so that they can take more weight and reduce the load on your bones. The myth here is that you can restore bone density, which is not possible, only the prevention of further degeneration is possible.

Osteoporosis only occurs in women

This is another common myth aimed at marketing to women, and it is somewhat correct. Osteoporosis is indeed more common among women with up to 8% of men being affected as opposed to up to 38% of women, which is a huge gap.

Nevertheless, there are other factors that contribute to the development of osteoporosis beyond genders such as the level of physical activity and diet. Despite the odds against women, proper care can reduce the chances of women developing osteoporosis. This should motivate both men and women to take better care of themselves and not assume they won’t get the condition just based on their gender or vice versa.

Young people need not worry

Even though osteoporosis probably won’t develop in your thirties, it should not give you carte blanche to do whatever you want. In this case, what you do in your early adulthood will determine your chances of developing osteoporosis, so every person should be worried regardless of age. There are recommended amounts of vitamin D and calcium for both men and women, and you should take note of these from an early age. Prevention is better than cure.

You only have to worry about falling

Osteoporosis does not cause bone fractures only through falling, and severe cases can cause fractures with even the slightest strain. When you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, it is not only important to avoid falling, but also heavy objects or strenuous activity. You should keep your exercises mild until you’re ready to increase the strain on your body.

Osteoporosis Facts

• Osteoporosis is a medical condition which causes porous and weak bones.

• Osteoporosis affects people over the age of 50.

• Regular physical exercise can help prevent osteoporosis.

• Getting enough vitamin D and calcium can help prevent osteoporosis.

• Man can get osteoporosis too, not just women.

• Young men are more likely to fracture bones than women.

• Osteoporosis leads to hip fractures.

• 25 % of patients with a hip fracture due to osteoporosis die within 6 to 12 weeks.

• Bone fractures can occur even without a fall.

• Osteoporotic fractures occur every 3 seconds worldwide.

• Once with osteoporosis, your bones can never gain their normal bone density.

• Medications used for osteoporosis treatment can help recover the bone density by a few % every year.

• Osteoporosis affects the life quality.

• Low body weight and weight loss increase the risk of fractures.

Osteoporosis is similar to osteoarthritis and could also be associated with degenerative disk disease. Consult your doctor or specialist if you feel you may have symptoms to any of these ailments.

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