Osteoporosis is a disease marked by a loss of bone mineral density and bone mass. Generally induced by skeletal changes, osteoporosis weakens your bones, putting you at risk of fractures and injuries.
As a man, it’s possible to discount the possibility of experiencing osteoporosis. To begin with, the condition is far more common in women, due to rapid bone-density loss during menopause and women’s smaller skeletal structure. What’s more, osteoporosis is referred to as the “silent disease,” meaning that you often don’t know that you have it until a fracture occurs. With these factors at work, many older men completely disregard osteoporosis, putting themselves in danger. Whether you’re 17 or 70, here are some things about osteoporosis in men that you need to know.
6 Facts About Osteoporosis In Men
1. After the age of 65, men and women lose bone density at the same rate
Although women lose bone-density faster than men during menopause and into their early 60s, by the age of 65-70 the rate is evened out. At this age, your natural absorption of calcium also decreases, putting you at higher risk as well.
2. Health and dietary decisions can greatly reduce the risk and impact of osteoporosis
Exercising and maintaining physical strength, eating a good diet high in calcium and vitamin D, abstaining from excessive drinking, and not smoking can all help limit the chance of osteoporosis. Good sources of calcium and Vitamin D include low fat milk, leafy greens, broccoli, fatty fish, and calcium-fortified foods.
3. Osteoporosis can occur at any age
Although most common in older adults, there are forms of idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis in teens and young adults. The causes of this rare condition are typically unknown, and most sufferers completely recover. That being said, it’s important to be aware that osteoporosis is possible at any age.
4. Your genetic and racial background can impact your chance of experiencing osteoporosis
If you have a family history of osteoporosis or are naturally slender and thin-boned, you may have a higher risk. Also, among men, non-hispanic whites are the most likely to have osteoporosis.
5. Long-term use of certain medications can enhance the risk of osteoporosis
Medications such as glucocorticoids and adrenocorticotropic hormone, antiepileptic medicines, proton pump inhibitors, cancer medications, SSRI’s, and thiazolidinediones can all increase your risk of experiencing osteoporosis or bone loss.
6. You can look-out for symptoms of osteoporosis
If you’re a man older than the age of 65, it’s a good idea to be aware of the early indications of osteoporosis. These include loss of height and weight, changes in posture, gait, and balance, and loss of muscle strength.
Nonetheless, it can be difficult to discern if these are characteristics of usual aging or an underlying condition like osteoporosis. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor—a routine physical exam or blood test can provide insight into your condition.
If you are in the Louisville, Kentucky-area and are in need of an experienced physician specializing in bone health, contact board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stacie Grossfeld for an appointment. Dr. Grossfeld has decades of experience successfully treating patients with osteoporosis. Call 502-212-2663 for more information or to schedule an appointment.