By James Fedich, D.C. -
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 1 in 2 woman over the age of 50, and 1 in 4 men in the same age group will suffer a hip fracture due to osteoporosis. There are currently 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, 8 million of which are women. The cost of osteoporosis to the United States Health Care system is $43 million dollars a day.
Osteoporosis is becoming an epidemic in this country. Perhaps the most somber statistic is that 1 in 4 women who suffer an osteoporotic hip fracture will die within one year of that fracture. This is not a disease to be taken lightly. As with most healthcare problems in the United States, prevention is the key. When you are already diagnosed with osteoporosis and put on a medication such as Fosamax, it is too late. The key is to prevent the disorder from happening.
One important point with osteoporosis is that women build all of their bone density by the age of 20. Thus, building bone in childhood and the teenage years becomes very important. So, how do we build bone and prevent osteoporosis?
First, weight-bearing exercise is vastly important. As stress is placed on a bone, the bone responds by laying down more bone to strengthen the area. Even walking for fifteen minutes a day can positively affect bone density. However, if the body does not have the building blocks it will not be able to make more bone.
The building blocks to good bone density include calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. It is very important to build bone, but it is even more important that we aren’t taking calcium and bone out of our body as well. Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol have all been shown to leech calcium out of your bones. So, we must all stop smoking and drinking.
It is also important to note that osteoporosis is not just an elderly persons disease. If we do not watch what we do, we can develop osteoporosis at a much younger age. Getting your bone density checked is a great first step on the road to better bone health. A bone density test can give a good starting point and a good reference point for later in life. Most importantly, you should be evaluated by a doctor to determine your risks and treatment options. Osteoporosis is definitely a disease you want to be ahead of. You do not want to be lying in bed with a fractured hip before you decide to think about your bone health. As always, prevention is the key, get out, walk, take your vitamins, and a get a check up, before it is too late.
This article is not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any disease. This article is not intended to substitute for the advice of a doctor.
“It is a noble work to be a nurse, and nurse the sick. It is a great profession of physicians who relieve the suffering, but greater than all is the chiropractor who can adjust the cause of disease and get them well.”
-Dr. B.J. Palmer