My grandma has it and my mother has it, so it was naturally safe to assume that I would also get it. The fact is, it doesn’t have to be like that. We are not doomed to a fate that we do not want to own. Prevention is not a myth, and nutrition is not a myth.
More than 28 million people in the United States have osteoporosis. And according to the NOF (National Osteoporosis Foundation) it threatens 44 million Americans. That is 55% of people over 50 in the U.S. alone! Thankfully, we now know that with diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, supplements and drug therapies, osteoporosis is totally preventable!
Osteoporosis Misconceptions and Myths:
Only women get osteoporosis.
Women are four times more likely to get osteoporosis then men. So it’s more common in women, it does not make it a women’s disease. Men can get osteoporosis too. In fact, it has been estimated that in the United States, almost 2 million men have osteoporosis and another 3 million are at risk. Fortunately, osteoporosis is as preventable in men as it is in women.
Women of color do not need to worry about osteoporosis.
It is true that Caucasian and Asian women are at higher risk for osteoporosis. However, in a recent study comparing other ethnic/racial groups, risk was increasing among Hispanic women for getting osteoporosis.
Since I am young I don’t have to worry about osteoporosis yet.
Approximately 85-90% of adult bone mass is acquired by age 20 in boys and 18 in girls. Which means building strong bones before that time aids in the prevention of osteoporosis later in life. The problem is that many people do not realize they have osteoporosis until the disease is in advanced stages. That is why it is so important to get into the habit early of eating right and exercising daily. You’re never too young to make lifestyle choices that will help you maintain healthy bones.
I drink lots of milk, so I won’t get osteoporosis.
Milk may be fortified with calcium, however, it may not be the best form of calcium we can get. Also, we now know that calcium is not the only tool for preventing osteoporosis. There are at least 17 other nutrients that are important for bone health. In addition, there are other things people must do to prevent this disease, including getting regular exercise and making other healthy lifestyle choices like not smoking.
So I might break a bone, Osteoporosis isn’t too serious of a disease.
The problem is that people with osteoporosis are often symptom-free for many years. That is why it is called the “silent killer.” In fact it is usually not discovered until something serious happens, like a broken hip or broken spine. Many hip fracture patients over the age 50 die in the year following their fracture or require long-term care after their injury. Vertebral fractures are also linked to an increased risk of death. There is currently no cure, so prevention is the key!
Osteoporosis is not a disease; it’s just a natural part of aging.
It is not true that we are all doomed to futures of being hunched over or suffering from broken hips. It may seem that all elderly people we know today are like this. This is not our fate. The sad thing is that we did not know how preventable diseases such as osteoporosis was when they were younger. As we all begin to improve lifestyles and diets, we should start to see less and less cases of osteoporosis and other diseases. Then in the bright future we hope to see the demise of osteoporosis.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has its perks. Proper nutrition and exercise is vital in preventing osteoporosis.
Taking essential vitamins and minerals:
Many women are now opting for daily multivitamins and prenatal multivitamins that contain the essential vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
These are a couple of the vitamins and minerals to look for in the top supplements available:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
Weight bearing exercise such as walking, dancing, rock-climbing, jogging, stair-climbing, tennis, and hiking are some of the many different kinds of weight bearing exercise that one can enjoy on a daily basis to help prevent osteoporosis.
- excess sodium
- high protein diets
- alcoholic beverages
In our day and age we have vast amounts of knowledge that unfortunately our grandparents did not. We do not live in a society where our choices are going to be made for us. Women today need to go out of our way to stand up for our health. Preventing osteoporosis is not impossible as some may think. Finding quality prenatal vitamins or daily multivitamins to take is a step in the right direction. It is up to us to make those decisions to not let a disease like osteoporosis limit our lifestyle.