How do I know if I am premenopausal?
You are considered premenopausal if you are having regular menstrual periods. During your perimenopausal years (particularly in your late forties or early fifties), your monthly periods may become irregular. You are still considered premenopausal until your periods have stopped for 12 months in a row without a medical reason such as during pregnancy.
Am I at risk for osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis most commonly affects older adults, postmenopausal women, and individuals of Caucasian or Asian descent. This does not mean that others are not at risk for osteoporosis. Men, African-Americans, and other populations get osteoporosis, too; they are just at a slightly lower risk than Caucasian or Asian postmenopausal and older women. Osteoporosis can occur, although not frequently, in the premenopausal years and may be related to family history, medical conditions, or the use of certain medications.
What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?
Heredity or a strong family history of osteoporosis can be a significant risk factor for thinner bones. Some families tend to have denser bones than others.Your family history partly determines your peak bone mass. Achieving a greater peak bone mass (between the ages of 16 and 25) can increase your bone bank of calcium. Making healthy lifestyle choices will help you reach the greatest peak bone mass possible for you.
Lifestyle factors that can contribute to osteoporosis include eating a nutrient-poor diet especially if it is low in calcium, low vitamin D intake, getting too little physical activity, smoking, and drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages. Other risk factors of osteoporosis include certain diseases, medical conditions, and/or medications that interfere with reaching peak bone mass or cause bone loss.
How do I know my risk factors?
By using the NYSOPEP risk assessment for premenopausal women you can find out your personal risk factors for osteoporosis.
If I have risk factors for osteoporosis, does that mean I am going to get the disease?
Although risk factors may increase your likelihood of getting osteoporosis, having risk factors does not mean that you have or will get the disease. Once you know your personal risk factors for osteoporosis, you can take actions to control many risk factors that can be changed. Taking actions to reduce risk factors can help you promote stronger bones. It is important to discuss how you can promote healthy bones with your healthcare provider.