Talking to your Health Care Provider about Prevention
Should you talk to your healthcare provider about osteoporosis prevention?
Bone health is a lifelong commitment. Everyone should talk to his or her health care provider about bone health. It is never too early or too late to take care of your bones. It is important to speak with your health care provider so that you can identify your personal risk factors for osteoporosis and take actions to promote stronger bones.
What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?
Knowing your risk for osteoporosis is the first step in taking an active role to promote strong bones for life. There are many risk factors for osteoporosis, including personal health history, family history of osteoporosis, age, gender, ethnicity, certain medical conditions, certain medications, and lifestyle factors such as 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.
If you have risk factors for osteoporosis, does that mean you will 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 reduce risk factors and promote stronger bones.
How can you promote strong bones?
To take an active role in promoting bone health, make an appointment with your health care provider to discuss your risk factors for osteoporosis. Ask your health care provider how nutrition, physical activity, not smoking, and other lifestyle choices can help you promote stronger bones.
It is important to be prepared for your visit to your health care provider. Asking the right questions will empower you to make informed decisions about your bone health. Here are a few questions to ask:
- What are my risk factors for osteoporosis?
- What types of physical activity can help me to promote strong bones?
- How much physical activity should I be getting?
- How much calcium do I need each day?
- What foods are rich in calcium?
- Do I need a calcium supplement?
- How much vitamin D do I need each day?
- Do I need a vitamin D supplement?
- Where can I get help with quitting smoking?
- How does alcohol affect my bone health?
- If I have, or have had, an eating disorder, where can I get help?
Listed below are some of the risk factors for osteoporosis. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk for osteoporosis.
- I am a woman older than 65 or a man older than 70.
- I am White or Asian.
- I am a woman who has reached menopause.
- A close relative has osteoporosis or has broken a bone
- I have broken a bone after 50.
- I have lost more than 1 ½ inches of height or have stooped posture.
- I rarely exercise.
- I rarely get enough calcium.
- I smoke.
- I have more than two drinks of alcohol several times a week.
- I take steroid medications.
- I have rheumatoid arthritis.
- I have low hormone levels
- I have, or have a history of, an eating disorder.