Osteoporosis is a severely underestimated threat for men. It is much more common than most people assume. A shocking one in four bone breaks are suffered by men who have osteoporosis.
Statistics show that men are at a higher risk of suffering an osteoporosis related bone break than prostate cancer. Men are also more likely to die from a bone break than women. Osteoporosis is quickly becoming one of the top health concerns among elderly men. Let’s take a closer look at this condition.
Osteoporosis risk factors
There is not one single variable that causes osteoporosis. Rather, an array of risk factors have the potential to contribute to the condition’s onset. Everything from genetics to medications, inactivity, hormonal changes and beyond can spur an onset.
So one’s lifestyle won’t necessarily preclude the onset of osteoporosis. The factors are intertwined with one another, making it that much more difficult to take any sort of focused preventative action.
Men who suffer from osteoporosis can treat it in a myriad of ways. Some choose to supplement while others overhaul their lifestyle to a more healthy and active way of living. Others engage in frequent weight bearing exercises. Some choose to cut out smoking or get a full 8 hours or more of sleep.
Osteoporosis can lead to other health problems
As men age, their chance of having osteoporosis greatly increases. Osteoporosis worsens as each year passes, weakening the bones and causing all sorts of complications. Men afflicted with osteoporosis are at a heightened risk for bone breaks and fractures. Sometimes, the complications lead to hospitalizations, limited mobility or even worse outcomes.
Testing for osteoporosis
Men who are age 70 or older are in high risk categories for osteoporosis. These individuals should be tested as soon as possible with a DXA bone scan. There are all sorts of other ways to combat osteoporosis. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to fight back.
Men who are in their 50s or beyond should supplement with the appropriate vitamins and minerals in an attempt to boost bone health. The body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food decreases later in life so elderly men should incorporate supplements like calcium, vitamin C, boron, magnesium, vitamin K2 etc.
Live an active lifestyle
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is saying that sitting for extended periods of time is the “new smoking”. Excessive sitting can negatively impact the heart as well as the bones. The bottom line is that if you don’t use your body, you will lose it.
Live an active lifestyle and your bones will strengthen in response. Some men have found that staying active with certain types of weight bearing sports helps strengthen the bones. You can get a comprehensive workout playing a sport like basketball, soccer or racquetball. The bottom line is that active people help their bones stay formidable over time. You are doing your body no favors by sitting idle.
Insufficient sleep harms your bones
Though most of us are aware of the fact that a lack of sleep can build up a “sleep debt” that negatively impacts the mind and body, most are unaware that poor sleep can directly harm the bones.
Scientists have studied rats to determine the effects of little sleep. They found that rats who were deprived of quality sleep experienced stunted bone formation. These bones even decreased in density to boot. Scientists believe that the same issues could occur in human beings.
Sunlight is critically important for bone health. The sun’s rays represent the top source of vitamin D. Most people are shocked to learn that around 85 percent of Americans are lacking in vitamin D.
This does not mean that you should head on out to the beach or the boat for an entire afternoon in the sun. Rather, all you have to do is spend 15 to 20 minutes outside, basking in the sun’s warmth. This limited sun exposure is all the body needs to create between 10,000 IU and 20,000 IU of vitamin D.
Studies have found that the best time to absorb vitamin D from the sun is at the noon hour. It is worth noting that sunlight should only be considered the optimal source of vitamin D if you are exposed to it on a regular basis. If you live in an overcast area where sunny days are a rarity, you should not hesitate to take vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D in combination with magnesium and calcium will provide the perfect vitamin and mineral balance.
Mind what you consume
Those who smoke should attempt to phase it out or go cold turkey. You just might notice an improvement in how you feel and how your body functions. A diet full of refined sugars, salt, processed foods and sugar-laden sweets is commonplace but terrible for bone health.
Eat a healthy diet with multicolored fruits and vegetables. Fortify your bones by consuming leafy greens, fresh fruits, a wide range of nuts, whole grains, dairy products and other foods that are rich in calcium.
Image Credits: Wikimedia