Men and women always seem to be comparing themselves to each other in an effort to see who has it worse and who has it better. While many physical ailments and diseases happen on a pretty equal basis between men and women, there are certain types of health issues that seem to prefer one gender over the other. Diseases and ailments due to bone density issues are hotly debated as to whether women or men are more affected. While women are generally more susceptible to osteoporosis, that doesn’t mean that men are completely off the hook. Both genders should work hard to take preventative steps that will effectively reduce their risk of developing bone density issues and diseases such as osteoporosis. Here are a few interesting facts about osteoporosis that apply to both men and women.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that causes them to become weak and brittle. When individuals suffer from decreased bone density, they are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. People who develop osteoporosis are more susceptible to breaks and fractures due to weakened bones. Depending on the severity of the condition, osteoporosis can make it difficult and painful to perform simple daily tasks without assistance.
Which Bones are Most Commonly Affected?
While osteoporosis affects bones throughout the body, it most commonly causes breaks and other problems in the spine, wrists, and hips. If osteoporosis affects the vertebrae, it can lead to a hunched posture, sloping shoulders, protruding abdomen, back curvature, and pain or difficulty performing everyday activities.
How Many Men Get Osteoporosis?
Although osteoporosis is considered to be primarily a woman’s disease, a large number of men also become victims of the condition. In the United States, more than two million men have osteoporosis, and men who are older than 50 have a greater risk of developing the disease.
How Is Osteoporosis Treated?
A combination of drugs, nutrition, and physical therapy may be used to treat osteoporosis, but recommended treatment options may vary based on the severity of the disease and the overall health of the individual who has it. If you or a loved one exhibits the symptoms of osteoporosis, it is important to consult with a doctor regarding available treatment options.
When Should a Bone Density Test Be Taken?
Both men and women who are 65 years old or older should receive a bone density test to reveal whether or not they have osteoporosis or are at risk for developing it. Some younger individuals may need a bone density test if they have other risk factors for osteoporosis, including a family history of the disease.
How Can Bone Density Be Maintained?
Men and women who wish to maintain their bone density should take proactive steps, including:
- Participate in a regular exercise routine that ideally includes weight lifting
- Eat healthy foods that promote bone growth, especially foods that contain calcium and vitamin D
- Stop smoking
- Take medication as needed to treat or prevent further bone loss
- Drink alcohol in moderation
It is important for men to realize that bone density issues can happen to both men and women, although women are at a higher risk. Both genders should take steps to ensure the health and strength of their bones and decrease their risk of developing bone diseases.
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