May is National Osteoporosis Month. Osteoporosis is a disease where a person’s bones are weak and brittle and have a high risk of breaking. With 26 bones in each of your feet and ankles this is an issue we at Texas Foot Specialists believe all our patients should be informed about. If you are over 50 and have broken a bone you may want to contact our Pasadena, Houston or Sugar Land office to discuss your personal risk factors with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Bruce Miller or Dr. Gregory Mangum.
Below are some important facts about this disease:
- In patients with osteoporosis the body may produce too little bone, lose too much bone or both.
- Bone loss increases significantly in midlife. About 1 in 2 women and 1 and 4 men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
- Currently, approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis
- You can’t “feel” weak bones and in fact many people with osteoporosis don’t know they have it until they break a bone.
- Osteoporosis can be hereditary.
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are associated with osteoporosis. It can also be caused by some medications and vitamins.
- Eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D at any age can greatly help increase bone strength. These include: milk, yogurt, and cheese, certain leafy green vegetables such as bok choy and broccoli and products that are fortified including cereals, milk and juices. Calcium and vitamin D supplements may also help if you are not getting enough from your diet.
- Not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and getting plenty of muscle-strengthening and weight-bearing exercise are other ways to help keep bones strong.
- It’s important to maintain a healthy weight to avoid excess stress on bones but avoid crash diets as these can result in decreased bone strength.