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Osteoporosis: A Challenge for Men and Women

Many people associate osteoporosis only with women. That’s not always the case.

Although osteoporosis is more prominent in women, osteoporosis can impact the health of men as well. Aerobic athletes, for example, with their high metabolic rate have a fast bone turnover, subjecting them to osteopenia and osteoporosis at a higher rate than the normal less physically active population.

Regardless of gender, bones lose calcium as we age, becoming fragile, thin and prone to fracture. Estimates say 55% of people 50 years and older are threatened by bone loss; 10 million with osteoporosis with 34 million with osteopenia. Of that 10 million, approximately 8 million are women and 2 million are men, with thinner and fair-skinned individuals seeming to be more prone to the disease.

Other factors that contribute to osteoporosis are poor nutrition (low calcium and Vitamin D intake), lack of adequate exercise, unhealthy lifestyle (cigarettes, excessive alcohol), prolonged exposure to certain medications (steroids, anticonvulsants, aluminum-containing antacids and certain cancer treatments), family history and race (Caucasian, Hispanic and Asian).

Although osteoporosis itself causes no pain, the most serious consequence, a hip fracture resulting from a fall, carries a mortality rate of 23% within one year.

The factors contributing most to the disease are low estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels. That’s why drugs that treat osteoporosis offer only minimal help, and cannot solve the problem. Hormonal optimization for men and women with diminished bone density is vital.

The National Institute on Aging stated, “Estrogen saves more bone tissue than even very large daily doses of calcium.” Calcium cannot be deposited and stored into bone unless the hormones are in balance. Also, the May 2004 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released findings by British researchers, describing a link between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and a reduced risk of bone fractures in women who entered menopause.

Building bone density prior to menopause is the best strategy for prevention; afterward, the most effective therapy to prevent rapid bone loss is hormonal.

Our strategy at MASRI MEDICAL of instructing in proper nutrition, encouraging bone building exercise and a healthier lifestyle, and to providing hormone optimization, helps REVERSE osteoporosis.