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Caring for our aging bones

  • Category: Blog, Orthopedics
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: King's Daughters Health
Caring for our aging bones

As we age, so do our bones. Fragile and weakness of bones can lead to osteoporosis in women after menopause and in older men. This bone-thinning disorder puts people at greater risk for broken bones — particularly fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine.

Hip fractures can be caused by factors that weaken bones. As the bones weaken the impact from a fall can cause a break below the hip bone.

Factors that put you a greater risk for a hip fracture are those that cause bone loss:

  • Age. The risk for hip fractures increases as we age. In 2010, more than 80 percent of those hospitalized for hip fractures were age 65 and older.
  • Gender. In 2010, 72 percent of hip fractures in those 65 and older occurred in women.
  • Heredity. A family history of osteoporosis or broken bones later in life puts you at greater risk for a hip fracture. People with small, thin builds are also at risk.
  • Nutrition. Low body weight and poor nutrition, including a diet low in calcium and Vitamin D can make you more prone to bone loss and hip fracture.
  • Lifestyle. Smoking, excessive alcohol use and lack of exercise can weaken bones.

Other factors putting you at a greater risk of falling and hip fracture:

  • Physical and mental impairments. Physical frailty, arthritis, unsteady balance, poor eyesight, senility, dementia and/or Alzheimer's disease can increase the likelihood of falling.
  • Medications. Many medicines can affect balance and strength. Side effects of some medications can also include drowsiness and dizziness.

There is good news! You can do things to maintain and even improve your bone strength.

  • Understand your individual risk for fracture. Ask your provider if you need a bone density test.
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices. Maintain a healthy weight and eat a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D. Do not smoke and limit your alcohol intake.
  • Consider bone-boosting medications. In addition to calcium and Vitamin D supplements, there are many drug options that slow bone loss and increase bone strength. Talk to your doctor about these methods for protecting your bones.