Understanding and Managing the Risks of Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a chronic bone disease that causes bones to decrease in mass and density, becoming frail and easily breakable. It often goes undetected because there are typically not symptoms associated with the early stages of bone loss until a fracture occurs. For this reason, it’s important to visit your primary care provider and discuss the steps you can take to prioritize your bone health and minimize risk factors that could lead to the development of osteoporosis down the road. 

Risk Factors

There are some risk factors that are out of your control such as:

  • Did you know that you typically reach peak bone mass by your 30s?
    Early adulthood is when your bones are in their best shape. In your mid 30s is when you typically begin to experience gradual bone loss that happens increasingly more quickly over time, causing your bones to weaken and chances of osteoporosis to increase with age.
  • Women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis than men for a couple of reasons. First, women’s bones are smaller and not as dense compared to men. Women also experience tremendous bone mass loss after menopause because of lowering estrogen levels, putting older women at the most risk for osteoporosis.
  • Did you know that your family history can increase your risk of osteoporosis?
    Studies have indicated that genetics do have an impact on your risk of osteoporosis. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, you should discuss this with your primary care provider.

There are, however, other risk factors that you do have control over and by being aware of these, you may be able to hinder bone loss. These risk factors include:

  • Diet: Too much or too little calcium, protein, and/or vitamin D in your diet can lead to bone loss, so make sure you are intaking the right amount for you depending on your sex and age.
  • Lifestyle choices: Heavy smoking or drinking, not staying active, and eating poorly can contribute to bone loss. Initiating healthy habits from a young age can really improve the strength of your bones in the future!
  • Exercise: Being inactive decreases bone strength over time. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, to promote bone health and growth, try doing weight-bearing and resistance exercises 3 to 4 days per week.

At Exemplar Care, we understand that preventing and managing osteoporosis requires a long-term commitment to your health and wellness. That’s why we work closely with our patients to help them establish healthy habits and make sure they stick to them over time. Our direct payment model allows our providers to take the time with each of their patients to personalize a care plan to help manage their unique risk factors and avoid developing chronic conditions like osteoporosis.

Take the first step towards optimal health by contacting us to learn more about membership and schedule an appointment.

Learn more about how to improve your bone health from one of our previous blogs!


Back to Blog