Hip > Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, which is defined as a sub-normal bone density that greatly increases the risk of fractures in areas such as the hip, back and wrist, affects an estimated 25 million Americans, eighty percent of whom are women.


Bone loss generally begins between the ages of 35 and 50. Studies have shown that astronauts who have been in a weightless environment for as little as three days show measurable bone loss. Osteoporosis is also a major concern with young female runners who suffer from ammenorhea or anorexia.


If bone density studies show heightened risk of osteoporosis, exercises that involve stooping down or twisting should be avoided, as they increase the risk of falling and could lead to fractures. For women undergoing menopause, who are at a higher risk to develop the condition, osteoporosis can be prevented with estrogen replacement therapy, also called hormone replacement therapy, when combined with exercises and an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D. Newer medications can be substituted for estrogen replacement therapy for women who cannot take estrogen. Women over 25 should consume 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day, along with 400 IU of vitamin D. Milk, yogurt, sardines and broccoli are good sources of calcium. Many experts worry that an inadequate intake of calcium by teenage girls and young women may greatly increase the risk of osteoporosis and other bone conditions later in life.


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