It is a common disease
1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
It is a serious disease
Especially when you are older, fractures due to osteoporosis cause severe pain, prevent you from getting around, and can lead to early death.
It is an expensive disease
Osteoporosis costs over $19 billion each year in the United States alone and this number is expected to increase in the future.
Are you at risk?
- Being over age 50
- Being female
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Low body weight/being small and thin
- Broken bones or height loss
How to reduce your risk
Get the right amount of Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium and Vitamin D are both needed to build strong bones as well as maintain them.
Here are some recommended amounts from the World Health Organization. Remember this includes calcium you get in your regular diet!
Adolescents - Ages 10-18: 1300 mg per day
Women - Ages 19 to menopause: 1000 mg per day
Women - Post-menopause: 1300 mg per day
Men - Ages 19-65: 1000 mg per day
Men - Ages 65+: 1300 mg per day
Here are some recommended amounts from the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Vitamin D sources include sunlight, food, and supplements.
Women - Under 50: 400-800 IU daily
Women - Over 50: 800-1000 IU daily
Men - Under 50: 400-800 IU daily
Men - Over 50: 800-1000 IU daily
Calcium and Vitamin D recommendations from the International Osteoporosis Foundation
How much calcium is in the food you eat? Check out this great calculator from Osteoporosis Canada.
How much Vitamin D do you get from various sources?
Eat a Healthy Diet
Calcium and Vitamin D are the most important for building strong bones but other nutrients and a healthy diet are also important to keep bones their best.
Fruits and Vegetables
- Greens such as kale, spinach, and collard greens
- Tomatoes and red and green peppers
- Oranges, grapefruits, and bananas
- Lean red meat
- Poultry and fish
- Eggs and dairy
- Legumes, soy products, grains, and nuts
Exercise is important to build and maintain strong bones. It is important to build both strong bones as well as strong muscles.
Both high- and low-impact exercises are good for your bones, choose ones according to your abilities and preferences. High-impact include dancing, jogging, climbing stairs, and tennis. Low-impact include walking, low-impact aerobics, and elliptical machines.
Improving muscle strength helps support your bones and improve balance. Exercises to consider include lifting weights, using elastic exercise bands, and lifting your own body weight.
Over one third of people over the age of 65 suffer a fall each year which can have serious consequences.
Six tips to reduce falls from the IOF
- Fall-proof your home by removing hazards, installing grab bars and using extra lighting.
- Do regular, suitable strengthening exercises, alongside exercises to improve balance.
- Keep your glasses clean and in good repair, be careful on stairs if wearing bi-focals, and wear sunglasses on bright days to reduce glare.
- Wear comfortable shoes with good support, a broad heel and non-slip soles.
- Maintain a healthy diet that includes fresh fruit, vegetables and calcium-rich foods.
- Talk to your doctor if you feel dizzy, and ask about your medications. Prescription medications can contribute to falling, particularly if you take three or more.
Preparing for an Appointment
What to Expect at an Appointment
During your consultation with one of our Endocrine specialists you will meet with the Medical Assistant that will obtain, verify or update your health history, one of our bone density technicians in case you need to have a test performed such as bone density or vertebral fracture assessment, possibly a resident or a fellow, and of course the specialist that you selected for your care. Working together with you, the doctor will determine a care plan that is designed specifically for you.
After registering with one of our clinical coordinators, your visit will start with a full medical history and physical. You will be asked to discuss your personal health history as well as any family history of medical issues. We will ask you about any symptoms you have been experiencing and how long you have had those symptoms. During your consultation, we will also review any medical records, laboratory results, imaging studies, or biopsy reports that you have brought with you or that you sent to the office ahead of your appointment.
If you have recently had imaging performed, such as an Ultrasound, MRI or CT scan, bone density, it is critical to bring a copy of the images as well as the report. The findings of your imaging studies will help the doctor to determine the best treatment plan for you.
In addition to the imaging studies, the blood and urine tests are also very important indicators that our doctors review during the consultation to make sure that they gather all the important information for your care, therefore we ask that you bring copies of those with you at the time of your appointment.
If the imaging studies and laboratory testing was performed here at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center, we will be able to access the information directly. If the study was performed at an outside facility, we strongly urge you to obtain a copy of the images and report ahead of time to bring with you to your consultation, otherwise we may not be able to complete a full evaluation of your case and your treatment plan may be delayed.
We also encourage patients to send the documents mentioned above to our office prior to your appointment date, as our doctors do review those prior to seeing you in order for your visit to be more productive.
Your consultation may take up to 90 minutes, but it typically runs for 60 minutes. By the end of your visit, the doctor will make their initial recommendation for your care.