If you're a woman in your 50s or 60s, information about osteoporosis should be something on your radar.
Your bone mass decreases, while your chances of osteoporosis increase.
"This is a very important time in a woman’s life where she is actively losing bone. Post-menopausal women are no longer making estrogen and estrogen is very bone protective," says Dr. Tara Allmen, who treats women’s health issues.
So Dr. Allmen says it’s time to get the conversation going: Women think osteoporosis is a diagnosis of little old ladies, of our grandmothers, but that philosophy has changed.
She also warns that having a bone break, even if it’s small, is something to be concerned about because half of the women over age 50 will have a fracture caused by osteoporosis, something they don't realize.
"Women are thinking of other things they’re thinking of breast cancer and heart attack and strokes, ignoring what’s also important. More women over the age of 55 are being hospitalized because of osteoporotic fractures more than those other issues," says Dr. Allmen.
She also believes some physicians are to blame, saying healthcare professionals are not bringing up the topic to women who break a bone.
So you need to know your risk factors.
"If you're thin, if you’re a smoker, if you have a parent who has osteoporosis and has fractured a bone, all of those things put you at an increased risk," says Dr. Allmen.
And be proactive. Women shouldn’t think that they can just eat calcium rich foods and somehow avoid the whole topic right.
Eating healthy foods and exercising can help, but there's one thing that should be your focus.
"I would like to empower the women who are postmenopausal to raise the issue with their own healthcare professional," says Dr. Allmen.