(KUTV) Osteoporosis or low bone mass affects 44-million Americans. It’s caused by the body losing too much bone, not creating enough new bone, or a combination of the two. You may be at risk for osteoporosis based on age, genetics, certain medications, and if you are “thin boned.”
“Thin people that can say get their fingers around their wrist really easily is usually a small boned person. They’re more at risk for osteoporosis,” Rachel Decker, a nurse practitioner at the TOSH Healthy Bones Clinic said.
Even though women are more affected by osteoporosis, it’s important to know that one in four cases are actually men. When men get osteoporosis, they typically have more severe cases.
Lacking symptoms, you may not know you have osteoporosis until you fall and break a bone. This is why screening is important.
“We usually recommend screening for any woman that’s 65 years of age or older or any man that’s 70 years of age or older,” Decker said.
Unfortunately, if you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, there’s no cure – but it can be treated. At the new TOSH Healthy Bones Clinic, a wellness-based approach is used to treat osteoporosis through diet and exercise. Patients start with an evaluation.
“It’s sort of a dual approach where you would see me as a nurse practitioner and then also see our dietitian who can go over some of the more specific recommendations with diet,” Decker.
Even with a well-balanced diet, supplements may be necessary – especially with Vitamin D and calcium. The recommended dose of calcium is about 1200 milligrams a day, and that includes both diet and supplementation.
An exercise routine involving weight-bearing movements can improve bone density and also reduce your risk of falling. This is why if you know you have osteoporosis and your bones are at risk for breaking easily, it’s really important to try and prevent falls.
For more information about the TOSH healthy bones clinic call (801) 314-2210 or click here.