Although we usually think of osteoporosis a woman’s problem, it can affect men as well.
Osteoporosis can lead to debilitating fractures of the hip, painful fractures of the spinal vertebrae, and fractures of the wrist and upper arm with minor trauma, or trauma at all.
A simple test, similar to an x-ray can tell if you have osteoporosis, or osteopenia.
Men tend to have heavier denser bones than women, so they develop osteoporosis at older ages.
All men over the age of 80 should have bone density tested for osteoporosis.
Men over the age of 65 with risk factors for osteoporosis should have bone density testing.
Men can also share with women some risk factors for osteoporosis that may warrant early screening and intervention. Low weight History of corticosteroid use (prednisone) Rheumatoid Arthritis Frequent alcohol intake Kidney or parathyroid disease Declining hormone levels: estrogen for women, testosterone for men
Many older adults are deficient in vitamin D and in calcium. Taking a vitamin D and calcium supplement may be a safe in inexpensive way of lowering your risk of osteoporosis.
Vitamin D 400-800 IU daily and/or Calcium 500 –1000 mg daily
Several medications are available that help preserve bone strength and decrease the risk of osteoporosis fractures.
Alendronate (Fosmax) daily, or weekly doses Boniva Miacalcin (Parathyroid hormone)