The older you get, the higher your risk of osteoporosis.
Obviously, osteoporosis is about aging.
Osteoporosis patients originally had very strong bones, like everybody else.
Osteoporosis is not about the inability to build strong bones, but about premature degeneration of the bones.
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones to the point where they break easily - most often bones in the hip, backbone (spine), and wrist.
Osteoporosis is called the "silent disease" - you may not notice any changes until a bone breaks. But your bones have been losing strength for many years.
Bone is living tissue. To keep bones strong, your body is always breaking down old bone and replacing it with new bone tissue.
As people enter their forties and fifties, more bone is broken down than is replaced. A close look at the inside of bone shows something like a honeycomb.
When you have osteoporosis, the spaces in this honeycomb grow larger. And the bone that forms the honeycomb gets smaller. The outer shell of your bones also gets thinner. All this loss makes your bones weaker.
Somehow, osteoporotic bones have degenerated more than healthy bones of the same age. In osteoporotic patients, the bones have obviously aged faster. Osteoporosis is about prematurely aged bones.
So, the key question is:
Who Has Osteoporosis?
They are mostly women, but men also have this disease. White and Asian women are most likely to have osteoporosis. Other women at great risk include those who:
Women with high animal-to-vegetable
protein rations were heavier and had higher intake of total protein. These women
had a significantly increased rate of bone loss than those who ate just
vegetable protein. Women consuming higher rates of animal protein had higher
rates of bone loss and hip fracture by a factor of four times."
Bone mass does not increase after age 35. This is a biological fact that is not in dispute by scientists. At least one in four women will suffer from osteoporosis with fractures of the ribs, hip or forearm.
In 1994, University of Texas researchers published results of an experiment indicating that supplemental calcium is ineffective in preventing bone loss. Within 5 years of the initial onset of menopause, there is an accelerated rate of loss of bone, particularly from the spine.
During this period of time, estrogen replacement is most effective in preventing rapid bone density loss. The risk of osteoporosis grows as you get older. At the time of menopause women may lose bone quickly for several years.
After that, the loss slows down, but continues. In men the loss of bone mass is slower. But, by age 65 or 70 men and women are losing bone at the same rate.
Do Men Have Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is not just a woman's disease. Not as many men have it as women do, but men need to worry about it as well.
This may be because most men start with more bone density than women and lose it more slowly as they grow older.
Experts don't know as much about this disease in men as they do in women. However, many of the things that put men at risk are the same as those for women:
Older men who break a bone easily or are at risk for osteoporosis should talk with their doctors about testing and treatment.
Men can use alendronate, risedronate, or parathyroid hormone to increase bone density. Testosterone supplements may help some men with low levels of testosterone.
Can My Bones Be Tested? <.....more>
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