Bone Health Information

Photo of woman holding hand weights to illustrate article about how to keep your bones healthy

Osteoporosis is a disease that thins and weakens the bones. When this happens, you are more likely to break a bone, especially in your hip, spine or wrist.

Both men and women can develop osteoporosis, but most cases are in women. This is because women have lighter, thinner bones, and many women have bone loss after menopause.

You may be at risk for osteoporosis if you:
  • Are over age 50
  • Are female
  • Have previously broken bones
  • Have gotten shorter as you’ve gotten older
  • Have a family history of osteoporosis

Ask your health care provider about getting tested for osteoporosis if you think you are at risk.

Help keep your bones healthy

You are never too old or too young to improve the health of your bones. People used to think weaker bones were normal as you got older. However, we now know more about keeping bones healthy. Taking care of your bones throughout your life may help prevent osteoporosis.

Tips for building strong bones:
  • Talk to your health care provider about bone health.
  • Eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Many foods have vitamin D added to them. These include milk, yogurt and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.
  • Do weight-bearing exercises, such as jogging, dancing, climbing stairs or playing tennis. In these, your legs and feet support your weight and your bones get a good workout.
  • Do strength training exercises, such as lifting free weights or using weight machines.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Get bone density testing and take medicine when prescribed.

Osteoporosis treatment works to slow down or stop bone loss. Talk with your health care provider to see if there is a treatment that is right for you.

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