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Osteoporosis is a big deal.  It is a condition in which your bones become fragile and brittle over time and can thus break far more easily.  This can happen for a number of reasons such as poor nutrition.  However, changes in hormones can also affect your risk.  That’s why ostereoperosis in women is so much more common that it is in men.  Women undergo hormonal changes, namely menopause, that men don’t.  Thus, women are at a much higher risk, but don’t be deceived, men can get osteoporosis too!  Here are 6 “Big Deals” to consider so you don’t get it, and if you already have it, deal with it as effectively as possible.

1. Know your risks for Osteoporosis in women


Age is a significant risk factor for osteoporosis. As we grow older, our bones naturally become less dense and more susceptible to fractures. While advancing age doesn’t guarantee the development of osteoporosis, the risk steadily increases over time. This is especially true for postmenopausal women, as estrogen levels decline during menopause, leading to accelerated bone loss. It is crucial to prioritize bone health through regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, and lifestyle choices that promote strong bones, such as avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.


Although men can also develop osteoporosis, women are at a higher risk. This disparity is primarily due to hormonal differences. During menopause, a woman’s estrogen levels decrease, resulting in accelerated bone loss. Additionally, women tend to have smaller bone structures and lower peak bone mass than men, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis. However, it is important to note that men can also experience bone loss, especially in older age. Men should also focus on maintaining bone health through lifestyle choices like regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and avoiding risk factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Understanding the gender-specific risks can help both women and men take proactive steps to prevent or manage osteoporosis.

Low bone mass:

Bone density, or bone mass, varies among individuals. Some people naturally have denser bones, while others have lower bone mass from a young age. Starting with lower bone density puts individuals at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. It is crucial to focus on building strong bones during childhood and adolescence through a combination of weight-bearing exercises, a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, and healthy lifestyle choices. Engaging in regular physical activity throughout life can help optimize bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. For individuals with lower bone mass, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on appropriate preventive measures and potential treatment options to mitigate the risk of osteoporosis.


A significant risk factor for osteoporosis is a history of fractures. If an individual has previously experienced fractures, it suggests weakened bones and indicates a higher likelihood of future fractures. Therefore, individuals with a history of fractures should be particularly vigilant about their bone health. This includes adopting lifestyle choices that promote bone strength, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, and avoiding risk factors like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Furthermore, healthcare professionals can evaluate bone density and provide personalized recommendations for preventive measures and potential treatments to minimize the risk of future fractures. By addressing the underlying causes and proactively managing bone health, individuals can reduce the impact of osteoporosis on their lives.

Tobacco status:

Smoking significantly increases the risk of osteoporosis. Smoking affects bone health in several ways. Firstly, it reduces calcium absorption, which is essential for maintaining strong bones. Secondly, smoking leads to lower estrogen levels in both men and women, contributing to accelerated bone loss. Additionally, smoking interferes with the production of new bone tissue and impairs blood supply to bones, hindering their ability to heal. Quitting smoking is crucial to prevent further bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures. By seeking professional help, utilizing support programs, and adopting healthier alternatives, individuals can improve their bone health and overall well-being. Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke is also important as it can have detrimental effects on bone health. Making the decision to quit smoking can have significant long-term benefits in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Medical conditions:

Certain medical conditions are associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. One example of such a medical condition is rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation, which can lead to the deterioration of bone tissue over time. The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can result in the destruction of joints and the surrounding bone, making them weaker and more prone to fractures.

Other conditions that can impact bone health include celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and hormonal disorders like hyperthyroidism or hyperparathyroidism. It is important for individuals with these medical conditions to work closely with their healthcare providers to manage their conditions effectively and minimize the impact on bone health. This may involve a combination of medication, lifestyle modifications, and regular monitoring of bone density. By addressing the underlying medical condition and implementing appropriate measures, individuals can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and maintain better bone health.


Certain medications can have adverse effects on bone density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Examples of such medications include long-term use of corticosteroids (such as prednisone), which can lead to bone loss by interfering with the normal bone remodeling process. Other medications that can affect bone health include certain anticonvulsants, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and some cancer treatments. If you are taking any medications that may impact bone density, it is important to discuss this with your healthcare provider. They can assess the potential risks, provide guidance on preventive measures, and monitor your bone health through regular screenings.

In some cases, alternative medications or additional interventions, such as calcium and vitamin D supplementation or medication to improve bone density, may be recommended to mitigate the impact of these medications on bone health. Being aware of the potential effects of medications and working closely with healthcare professionals can help individuals make informed decisions and take proactive steps to protect their bone health.

2. Exercise away brittle bones

Regular exercise plays a crucial role in enhancing bone strength, especially when engaging in weight-bearing exercises like weight lifting. These activities exert stress on muscles and bones, stimulating the release of hormones that signal the need for increased strength. Consequently, the cells responsible for bone formation become more active, resulting in stronger bones. Exercise also contributes to improved balance, reducing the risk of falls and potential fractures. If you have osteoporosis, it is important to exercise with caution and seek guidance from a Physical Therapist before engaging in intense activities.

By incorporating regular weight-bearing exercise into your routine, you actively promote bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The mechanical stress placed on bones during weight lifting and other weight-bearing exercises stimulates bone remodeling, encouraging the formation of new bone tissue. Additionally, exercise aids in maintaining and improving balance, decreasing the likelihood of falls that could lead to fractures. However, if you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it is crucial to approach exercise with care. Consultation with a Physical Therapist is highly recommended to ensure that the chosen exercises are safe and appropriate for your condition, helping you to maximize the benefits of exercise while minimizing the risk of injury.

3. How calcium and vitamin D can help

The availability of essential building blocks is crucial for bone formation. Calcium, a major component of bones, plays a vital role in their structure. It is recommended to consume a minimum of 1,000mg of calcium daily, although the specific requirement may vary based on age and activity level. However, it is equally important to ensure sufficient intake of vitamin D, as it facilitates the absorption of calcium. Without adequate vitamin D, even if calcium intake is high, the body may struggle to absorb enough calcium for effective bone production. While obtaining nutrients from food is ideal, it can be challenging to meet the recommended calcium and vitamin D levels through diet alone. In such cases, the use of supplements becomes necessary to bridge the gap.

To support bone health and minimize the risk of osteoporosis, it is essential to prioritize calcium and vitamin D intake. Adequate levels of these nutrients provide the foundation for strong and healthy bones. While various food sources are rich in calcium, including dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods, it can still be challenging to meet the daily requirements solely through diet. In such instances, supplements can serve as a valuable resource to ensure optimal calcium and vitamin D levels. However, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage and to ensure any potential interactions or contraindications are considered before starting supplementation. By addressing any deficiencies and maintaining adequate nutrient levels, individuals can support bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

4. Stop smoking to stop Osteoporosis in women

Despite widespread awareness of the harmful effects of smoking, it remains a major risk factor for osteoporosis. Smokers are well-informed about the detrimental impact of smoking on their health. However, it is important to acknowledge that smoking significantly increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. The harmful substances present in cigarettes can negatively affect bone health in several ways. Smoking reduces calcium absorption, impairs the production of new bone tissue, and interferes with the blood supply to bones, hindering their ability to heal properly. As a result, smokers are more susceptible to experiencing accelerated bone loss and increased fracture risk.

Although smokers are not ignorant of the dangers associated with smoking, it is essential to emphasize the specific link between smoking and osteoporosis. Quitting smoking is a crucial step in reducing the risk of osteoporosis and its complications. By quitting smoking, individuals can minimize further bone loss and enhance their overall bone health. Seeking support from healthcare professionals, utilizing smoking cessation programs, and adopting healthier alternatives are essential strategies for breaking the habit and protecting bone health. It is never too late to quit smoking and mitigate the risks associated with osteoporosis.

5. Drink less, or better not at all

Excessive alcohol consumption can have detrimental effects on the body for various biological reasons. Similar to smoking, alcohol is considered harmful to overall health. Furthermore, alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for osteoporosis, particularly in women. It is important to recognize the association between alcohol and its impact on bone health.

Alcohol can negatively affect bone density and strength through multiple mechanisms. Excessive alcohol intake interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, a vital mineral for bone health. Moreover, it disrupts the balance of hormones involved in bone remodeling, leading to increased bone loss. Chronic heavy drinking also impairs the liver’s ability to produce vitamin D, which is necessary for proper calcium absorption and utilization. These cumulative effects contribute to a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.

Understanding the risks associated with alcohol consumption and its impact on bone health is crucial. It is recommended to consume alcohol in moderation or avoid it altogether to maintain optimal bone health. By making informed choices and prioritizing bone health, individuals can reduce their risk of osteoporosis and promote overall well-being.

6. Treat the underlying cause of a fracture

If you experience a fracture, it is crucial to seek treatment for osteoporosis to prevent future occurrences. There are several effective measures you can take to avoid fractures in the future, many of which align with the preventive strategies mentioned earlier. These include engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and considering the potential benefits of modern medications.

Exercise and a balanced diet continue to play a significant role in promoting bone health and reducing the risk of fractures. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking or weight lifting, stimulate bone remodeling and help strengthen bones. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D through diet or supplementation is also essential for bone health. Additionally, modern medications can be beneficial, especially for individuals with low bone mass. These medications are designed to assist the body in building stronger bones, providing support and protection against fractures. If you have low bone mass, whether inherited or developed over time, discussing medication options with your doctor is recommended.

By consulting with your healthcare provider, you can explore the most suitable treatment options for your specific situation. They can assess your bone health, consider your medical history, and provide personalized recommendations regarding exercise, diet, and medication. Taking proactive steps and addressing osteoporosis with appropriate treatment can significantly contribute to maintaining bone strength and reducing the risk of fractures.