Aging Women and Osteoporosis
July 5, 2017
According to recent studies, only 17 percent of women are tested for osteoporosis or receive any type of treatment for it. When women who are more advanced in age fracture a bone, it is not standard to give them a bone density test to see if they need any type of treatment to help prevent further broken bones. All older women, particularly those who have already had a bone fracture, should be tested for osteoporosis.
Testing for osteoporosis allows medical professionals to assess a woman’s bone strength, allows health providers to put any necessary drug treatment or other type of treatment in place, and allows for a comparison of results over time to determine if any therapy that has been put in place is working.
In the meantime, there are several bone-strengthening strategies that can be practiced in an attempt to avoid osteoporosis. They include:
Calcium intake – Medical data indicates that women should consume a minimum of 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Primary dietary sources of calcium include milk and other dairy products, such as cottage cheese, yogurt, and hard cheese. Non-dairy sources include green vegetables, such as broccoli and kale. Calcium supplements can also be taken, for women who are unable to get enough calcium through their diet.
Vitamin D – Taking a Vitamin D supplement daily can also help to reduce bone loss and the risk of fractures in older women. Milk with Vitamin D is a good dietary source of vitamin D and another source is salmon. Vitamin D supplements are generally recommended for all persons who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and whose intake of vitamin D is lower than 600 international units per day.
Osteoporosis drugs may be recommended for some women who have the condition or are at risk for the condition. Most fractures are due to falls, so preventing falls can all help to avoid fractures. Some strategies for fall prevention include exercising to increase bone and muscle strength and improve balance; making modifications in the home to avoid any trips or other types of accidents; and reviewing any type of medication that could increase the risk of a fall.