Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become brittle, porous, and more susceptible to fracture and break. In the United States, two million men have osteoporosis, and 12 million are at risk for developing it. However, concern about osteoporosis is generally directed at women, who are four times more likely to develop it. This likely has something to do with women’s longer life expectancies. Additionally, men are more likely to be physically active, and that may act as a protective measure for their bone density. In women, osteoporosis often sets in after menopause. Similarly, men seem to most often develop osteoporosis for hormonal reasons. Here are the most common causes of osteoporosis in men:
Osteoporosis in men is most commonly caused by low testosterone. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem. At Men’s Vitality Center in Tucson, we offer testosterone replacement therapy for a variety of reasons. When you come into our men’s clinic to be assessed for osteoporosis, we may recommend testosterone replacement therapy as a treatment.
Lack of calcium or vitamin D
Your bones are constantly growing; they shed old cells and develop new cells to replace it. This process is called remodeling, and in order to do it successfully, your body needs calcium and vitamin D. When you do not get enough of these nutrients, you are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Eat foods that are rich in these vitamins, such as spinach, salmon, yogurt, and eggs.
Lack of exercise
Exercise builds both muscle and bone density. When you build muscle, your bones must respond and build stronger bones to support the muscle. If you are not exercising enough, you are not building the bone mass you need to avoid osteoporosis when you are older. Be sure to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on a daily basis.
Certain medications can also cause bone loss. These include:
- Corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory steroids are used to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as asthma, meningitis, allergies, and ulcers. Though these can be effective to treat these conditions, they can also severely weaken bones. One study showed that more than 7.5 milligrams per day completely stopped new bone growth.
- GnRH agonists: These are often used to treat men with prostate cancer, and they can lead to low bone mineral density and fractures.
- Antiseizure drugs: Studies show that these drugs may lead to bone loss, particularly with long-term use and low calcium or vitamin D.
If you take any of these medications and are concerned about osteoporosis, speak to your physician at Men’s Vitality Center in Tucson.
Certain health conditions
There are many health conditions that predispose you to developing osteoporosis. Some examples include cystic fibrosis, certain digestive disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and some blood disorders. If you have a chronic health condition, it is more important that you focus on your bone health through proper diet and exercise.
Smoking is terrible for your health for a variety of reasons, but it is particularly bad for your bone mass. Smokers have a 55 percent higher risk of fracture than nonsmokers, and generally have lower bone mineral density as well. Do your bones a favor and refrain from smoking.
For osteoporosis screening and treatment, contact Men’s Vitality Center in Tucson today.