Often thought of as a woman’s disease, men can and do develop osteoporosis - thinning of the bones. According to statistics, 2 out of every 10 people with osteoporosis are men.
So, how can you tell if you’re one of the men who are at risk of developing osteoporosis? Here are the risk factors if you are a man:
Being Caucasian or Asian - these two groups have higher rates of osteoporosis and low bone mass. However, it is a problem in all races. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation:
“Seven percent of non-Hispanic Caucasian and Asian men aged 50 and older are estimated to have osteoporosis, and 35 percent are estimated to have low bone mass.”
“Four percent of non-Hispanic black men aged 50 and older are estimated to have osteoporosis, and 19 percent are estimated to have low bone mass.”
“Three percent of Hispanic men aged 50 and older are estimated to have osteoporosis, and 23 percent are estimated to have low bone mass.”
Having a small bone structure. If you’re considered to be small built, you have a higher risk of thinning bones, just like women do.
Having low levels of testosterone and estrogen.
Having had as a child a diet low in calcium.
Eating a low-calcium diet as an adult.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
Being physically inactive
Taking medications like prednisone in high doses and/over a long period of time
These are just a few of the risks. If you feel that you may be at risk, you need to speak with your doctor. There are ways to slow down osteoporosis progression, but only if you are proactive and have this seen to.
Osteoporosis is an invisible disease and you won’t know you have it unless you are tested for it. Sadly, too many people only find out they have osteoporosis once they’ve broken a bone. And, depending on how old they are, their health, the bone broken and the severity of the break, this break could end up affecting their life severely.