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Osteoporosis: Bad to the Bone

For those of you who have followed my blog, you know that my 84  year old grandmother is my best friend. I am also, in part, a caregiver to her. She is able-bodied, working full-time in children’s apparel at Wal-Mart, however, age takes it toll. For Grandma this has been in the form of osteoarthritis in her knees. Her bone density is fine, but the cartilage has been worn out of her knees forcing her legs to bow and turn inward.

At a recent doctor’s visit, we were shown X-rays of her knees. Then she was given fluid injections so her bones don’t rub against each other. It was painful and though, it helped some, there are days she shuffles and cannot manipulate steps or curbs.

From taking care of my grandmother, I have learned that there is no better time than right now to begin taking care of myself. This recent list of facts from Vocal Point, show that Osteoporosis is very real and it’s affecting women.

  • 8 million people in the U.S. with osteoporosis are women aged 50 and above.
  • Women can lose as much as 20% of their bone mass in the first 5 to 7 years after menopause.
  • After the age of 50, about half of women will have a fracture related to osteoporosis in their lifetime.
  • The hip, spine, and wrist are where most osteoporosis-related fractures occur, but any bone can be affected.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, these are some factors that can contribute to postmenopausal osteoporosis and risk for fracture. Check this list to see which apply to you:

  • Older age
  • Family history of osteoporosis or broken bones
  • Being small and thin
  • History of broken bones
  • Very low bone density
  • Frequent falls
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking and excessive alcohol intake (3 or more drinks a day)
  • Certain medications, such as steroid medications and others
  • Certain diseases and conditions, such as anorexia, rheumatoid arthritis, digestive system diseases, and others
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