Bones are amazingly strong and solid; yet light enough for us to easily move around each day. Bones are composed of minerals, tissues, living cells and proteins. They produce red and white blood cells, actively store minerals for later use and fuse together as the demands of life change from infancy to adulthood. It would be impossible for our bodies to function properly without bones.
It is an unfortunate but indisputable fact that life puts a greater burden on women’s bones than it does on men’s. About 50 percent of women over the age of 50 will suffer a broken bone. Additionally, 80 percent of people who suffer from osteoporosis in the United States are women.
Furthermore, one in three women over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporosis related fracture; three out of four hip fracture patients are women; and about one in five hip fracture patients will die within 12 months of the fracture.
Practice important bone health
“The stats and facts prove that it’s extremely important for women to practice important bone health, even at a young age,” said Dr. Heather Williams, OrthoIndy orthopedic hand surgeon. “Women should quit smoking and taking medications for heartburn, called proton pump inhibitors, because it decreases bone density and increases risk of fractures.”
Dr. Williams added that forearm fractures are an early indicator of poor bone density in adults. If you have had a forearm fracture as an adult you should ask your primary care physician to calculate your risk of another fracture.
Follow a healthy diet
Adequate dietary protein, calcium and vitamin D are also important for reducing fractures and increasing bone density. Adults over 50 need 1200 mg of calcium and 800 to 1000 IU of Vitamin D daily. It is also important to exercise at all stages of your life; especially during childhood and adolescence as exercise increases bone mass.
“Osteoporosis treatment, such as bisphosphates and Forteo, can reduce hip fractures up to 40 percent,” said Dr. Williams. “DEXA scan or bone density testing is recommended for all post-menopausal women with fractures, adults over 65 years old and patient’s with risk factors for osteoporosis. Additionally, FRAX is a tool that can be used to calculate your ten year probability of a fracture.”
Start making changes today that will keep your bones healthy and your life active.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Williams please call 317.802.2419. or learn more about bone and soft tissue oncology at OrthoIndy.