by Alfred M. Faulkner, DO, PC on December 30, 2021Osteoporosis affects aging men and women, lowering bone density, changing bone structure and making bones more likely to fracture. You may be unaware you have this silent bone disease until you break a bone in a circumstance that wouldn’t usually cause such a severe injury. If you think you may have osteoporosis, Dr. Alfred Faulkner can evaluate your bone integrity and develop a treatment plan. Women and men who are older, slender and have thinner bones are at greater risk for osteoporosis. Hormonal fluctuations such as menopause can lead to osteoporosis and other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, HIV/AIDS and gastrointestinal diseases. Your lifestyle plays a significant role as well. Treatment for osteoporosis may involve a combination of medications, fall prevention measures and the following lifestyle changes:A Well-Balanced, Nutritional DietCalcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health and help prevent or improve osteoporosis by helping your bones reach peak mass. The following foods are rich in calcium and vitamin D: Low-fat dairy foodsDark, leafy greensBroccoliCalcium-fortified foodsFatty fish (e.g., sardines, salmon) and fish oilsEgg yolksLiver Women and men in the 51- to 70-year-old age range have a higher risk of osteoporosis, and it is recommended they consume 1,000mg (1,200mg for women) of calcium each day and 600iu of vitamin D. Avoid Smoking and Limit AlcoholDrinking alcohol in excessive quantities interferes with your health in many ways, including the health of your bones. Alcohol disrupts the balance of calcium in your body and interferes with your ability to produce vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. Smoking also impacts calcium absorption, leading to weaker bones or low bone density, and the bone-forming cells that are critical to healing are slowed down by nicotine. Weight-Bearing ExerciseGood bone health relies on regular exercise, and research suggests the best physical activities for strengthening your bones are strength and resistance training. Older adults who are most at risk for osteoporosis can’t increase their bone mass anymore. However, they can improve muscle strength and mass for improved coordination and balance, which lowers fall risk and increases daily function. Regular exercise may even delay the need for mobility aids or the loss of independent movement. At-risk adults or those diagnosed with osteoporosis should avoid high-impact exercises because they put sudden and excessive strain on the bones.Learn More About Your Osteoporosis RiskContact our Michigan Bone Doctor in Dearborn or Jackson today if you think you may have osteoporosis or have experienced a bone fracture after a seemingly insignificant situation. Dr. Alfred Faulkner is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who can evaluate you for low bone density.