Throughout your life, your bones are constantly in the process of building up and breaking down. After about age 30, however, more bone material is broken down in a year than built up. Over time, this can lead to the bones becoming frail or brittle, a condition known as osteoporosis. While osteoporosis can affect everyone, it affects females more often, especially after menopause. Currently, more than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis.
Ensuring that you get enough calcium and Vitamin D (through supplements, milk, or green, leafy vegetables) is important in staving off osteoporosis, but so is ensuring that you limit your intake of sugar, alcohol, protein, phosphorous and sodium, and also getting enough exercise and avoiding smoking. Medications such as corticosteroids and anti-convulsants (seizure medications) can adversely affect bone health. Even other medical conditions, including breast and prostate cancer, lupus, cirrhosis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and strokes can increase your chances of getting osteoporosis. Early diagnosis is important, so regular screenings and being aware of your risk factors are essential.