Osteoporosis occurs when your bones lose minerals and mass, making them more fragile and prone to breakage. Although most women are aware that they’re at increased risk for osteoporosis after menopause, few men realize that aging puts them at risk, too.
In fact, aging isn't the only cause of osteoporosis in men. If you're interested in aging healthily and you’re a man, paying attention to bone health is almost as important for you as it is for women. About one in every four men in the United States will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
At the Rheumatology Center of New Jersey, both women and men can get the bone density scans they need to keep tabs on their bone health.
If you do have osteoporosis or its precursor, osteopenia, our board-certified rheumatologists help you make lifestyle changes and recommend medications to keep your bones strong.
Are you a man who’s at risk for osteoporosis? Following are some reasons why you might be.
You’re over age 50 and suffered a fracture
One predictor of a future broken bone is a past or present broken bone. As with women, some men have less bone mass to begin with. As they age and lose that mass, their bones are prone to fractures.
If you’re over 50 and break a bone, you should get a bone density scan to evaluate the health of your other bones, too. A fracture is a warning sign that your bones need help.
You could also benefit from a hormone panel. If you’re low in the hormone testosterone, you may not be able to replace old bone cells with new ones. Low T, as it’s known, also prevents you from building the muscles that put healthy stress on your bones to keep them strong.
You have unhealthy habits
Anything you do to your body affects your bones, too. Smoking, for instance, dehydrates living tissue. That’s why smokers tend to have thin, wrinkled skin. But inside, their organs and even the living tissue of their bones are also dehydrated and fragile.
If you’re sedentary, your bones don’t get the continuous healthy stress they need to regenerate bone cells and maintain density. Diets that lack nutrients, such as minerals and vitamins, also put your bones at risk.
Quit smoking, don’t drink alcohol, and rev up your essential vitamin and mineral intake with fresh vegetables and fruits. Get plenty of exercise, especially weight-bearing resistance training, to help build up your bones.
You’re deficient in vitamin D
Exercising is important, but exercising outdoors is even more so. When you’re exposed to short amounts of sunlight, your body produces the vitamin D it needs to keep your bones strong.
Vitamins D and K both help your body process the mineral calcium, which is associated with bone health. Be sure you’re getting enough magnesium, too. Magnesium deficiency is common in the United States and affects everything from sleep to bone density.
You have underlying health conditions
Chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes take a toll on your body and your bones. Sometimes the medications you take to treat a health condition negatively affect your bone-mineral density.
The sooner you recognize your own risk factors for osteoporosis, the sooner you can slow down your bone loss to preserve your bones and keep them fracture-free. Start by booking a bone density scan to find out how your bones fare and how to keep them strong.
Are you a man with a risk for osteoporosis? Contact us by phone or online form at the office nearest you today for a bone-density scan or osteoporosis treatment. We’re located in Monroe, Flemington, and Somerville, New Jersey.