Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How do you prevent osteoporosis?"
My grandpa found out he has osteoporosis. How can I prevent it as I get it older? Are there foods/medications I can take to help my bones?
Osteoporosis, as you probably know, is a weakening of the bones with age. It is a serious problem, because it can lead to a tendency for the bones to fracture, which can cause serious disability late in life. The best first step for you would be to go see your primary care doctor. Screening for and preventing osteoporosis is one of the major topics that is addressed in an annual physical exam, so if you have not had your annual physical in a while that would be a great place to start. Make sure to tell your doctor about your family history of osteoporosis. They will be able to make an individualized assessment of your risk factors for osteoporosis and make recommendations. For most young people, this generally just involves staying physically fit and taking in plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet. In selected cases, your doctor may also want to take some blood to measure your vitamin D level. In older people, especially women, the doctor will often recommend bone density testing as an additional way to assess bone health. Bone density testing might also be recommended if you have certain chronic medical conditions or take certain medications like steroids. Start by talking to your doctor at your next checkup!
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