Osteoporosis – Get Your Facts Right
Myth 1: Osteoporosis is just a women’s disease.
Fact: Although osteoporosis is more common in women than men, men are still at risk for developing a fracture related to this disease. Up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
Myth 2: I have no family history of osteoporosis. I eat a healthy diet and exercise. How did I get osteoporosis?
Fact: There are many factors that can increase your likelihood of developing osteoporosis. You are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis if you are a postmenopausal woman with a small and thin build. As you age, your risk of osteoporosis and broken bones increases. Also, certain medical conditions or taking certain medicines may increase your chance of developing osteoporosis.
Myth 3: I’m too young to worry about osteoporosis.
Fact: Osteoporosis is not a natural part of aging. Building strong bones is something that starts much earlier in life – you’re never too young to begin thinking about building strong bones. Your bones begin building density from infancy through young adulthood and reach their maximum density around age 25. If you do not achieve maximum bone density by this time, you could be at risk.
Myth 4: I’m too old to build bone.
Fact: It’s true that we reach our highest bone density in early adulthood – around age 20 to 25. After that, bone mass tends to fall. However, studies show that weight-bearing exercise can build bone even among older adults.
Although food can’t build bone density, having the right diet can significantly slow down the rate of bone loss. Make these steps a part of your life: a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D; a healthy lifestyle with no smoking or excessive alcohol intake; bone density testing and medications for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis when appropriate.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation (2016). Frequent Asked Questions. Available from: <https://www.nof.org/patients/patient-support/faq/>
- National Osteoporosis Society (2015). Osteoporosis in Men. Available from: <https://www.nos.org.uk/health-professionals/~/document.doc?id=1303>
- UnityPoint Health (2016). True or False? We Stop Absorbing Calcium in our 20s. Available from: <http://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=e7c6bf6f-c562-42f4-b296-b00dfa070a8c