Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to become weaker and more likely to break. It was once thought to be a “woman’s disease” since it affects about 1 in 4 women aged 65 and over. It’s now recognized that about 1 in 20 men aged 65 and over also have osteoporosis.
With bones more likely to break and slower to heal with aging, seniors with osteoporosis are more likely to suffer a broken hip and become unable to continue living independently. Medications, proper nutrition, weight-bearing exercises and minimizing alcohol intake and smoking, all help prevent or delay the symptoms of osteoporosis. It’s important to know your family history and discuss your screening needs with your primary care provider. Early diagnosis can give you time to take action while you still have time to avoid or slow the disease.
If it turns out that you do have osteoporosis, make an appointment with your rheumatologist.