September 18, 2017

What is Bone Density Decrease?

Bone density decrease is a common problem that causes bones to become abnormally thin, weakened, and easily broken (fractured). Women are at a higher risk for bone density decrease after menopause due to lower levels of estrogen, a female hormone that helps to maintain bone mass.

Fortunately, preventive treatments are available that can help to maintain or increase bone density. For those already affected by bone density decrease, prompt diagnosis of bone loss and assessment of fracture risk are essential because therapies are available that can slow further loss of bone or increase bone density.

Some of the most important treatments for preventing bone density decrease include diet, exercise, and not smoking. These recommendations apply to men and women. The non-drug measures can help to increase bone density. A medication or hormonal therapy may also be recommended for certain men and women who have or who are at risk for bone density decrease.

Calcium and vitamin D can also be taken as a supplement. A total of at least 1000 mg of calcium per day (total diet plus supplement) is recommended for premenopausal women and men. Women after menopause should consume 1200 mg calcium per day (total diet plus supplement).

Exercise can help to prevent and treat bone density decrease. Exercise should be done for at least 30 minutes three times per week. Any weightbearing exercise regimen is appropriate (eg, walking).

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