Good Bones

If you watch television, you might think that women are the only ones who suffer from bone disease (osteoporosis).  But while it is indeed more common for them to suffer from diminished bone density, it affects us guys as well.

In fact, 20% of all osteoporosis patients are men.  And men are two to three times more likely to die after a hip fracture resulting from osteoporosis.  So educating yourself about bone health is not a bad idea, and taking some bone-healthy vitamin supplements starting at an early age can help as well.

If you are over 70 or if you have risk factors like smoking, low body weight, excessive alcohol consumption or a family history of bone disease, think about undergoing a screening process using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) to check bone density (check for insurance coverage first!).

Vitamin D supplements and a regimen of exercise will also help you stay bone-healthy and avoid falls. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has not specified a dose of Vitamin D, but most studies put the average patient intake at 600 IU for those ages 51-70 and 800 IU for those older than 70.

Be sure to include balance training with physical strengthening to stay steady!


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