Five Important Facts about Osteoporosis

Take steps to help prevent becoming one of the approximately 10 million people with osteoporosis.

It's true, knowledge is power. The more you know about osteoporosis, the more you can do to prevent it. In honor of National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, here are five empowering facts to help you live well.

1. Osteoporosis is serious. Osteoporosis is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, because weak bones can be so fragile, osteoporosis can put you at risk of breaking a bone simply by sneezing, falling or bumping into something. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that one in two women older than 50 and up to one in four men will break a bone due to the disease. And that's serious, because bones typically don't heal as quickly or as well in older people as they do in youngsters.

2. Diet is important. To help prevent osteoporosis, eat a balanced diet rich in foods that promote healthy bones and get adequate calcium and vitamin D. On average, women 50 and younger and men 70 and younger need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Women 51 and older and men 71 and older need 1,200. When it comes to vitamin D, adults younger than 50 need between 400 and 800 international units daily; those 50 and older need between 800 and 1,000.

3. Exercise is too. Build strong bones and keep them healthy by doing both weight-bearing (walking, running, stair-climbing, aerobics, etc.) and muscle-strengthening activities (lifting free weight, using weight machines, etc.). 

4. Lifestyle choices can raise or reduce your risk. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can compromise bone health. If you're a smoker, quit smoking. If you drink alcohol, follow guidelines for moderate alcohol consumption.

5. Your doctor is key to prevention, diagnosis and treatment. To help prevent or diagnose osteoporosis, see your doctor. He or she may consult your medical history, do a physical exam or order a bone density test or other procedure.

Read more about osteoporosis, on the Medical Center of Plano's online Health Information page. To discuss your bone health, contact your doctor. If you need to find a doctor, use our online Find a Physician service or call us at 1-855-665-TMCP (8627) for a physician referral.

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