Sunday, April 5, 2015

Osteoporosis And African-American Women


More than 25 million Americans suffer from or are at risk for osteoporosis, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). Of this number, more than 300,000 are African-American women.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis means a 'porous' bone or bones that were once strong that have become brittle and are more likely to break. Everyday activities that were never given a second thought before, such as bending, lifting, and walking, can cause a bone fracture with osteoporosis.

Bone is living tissue. Special cells called 'osteoclasts' break down bone, replacing it with new tissue. As women age, bone is broken down faster than it is replaced. In some women, the rate of bone loss speeds up after menopause when a woman's estrogen level is lower. Without estrogen, the osteoclasts are removed, resulting in bone loss and osteoporosis.

African American Women& Risk For Osteoporosis 

 Bone mass in African American women is higher than Caucasian. Yet, 80 to 95 percent of fractures in African-American women over 65 are due to Osteoporosis. Although Caucasian and Asian women have the highest rate of osteoporosis, African American women are more likely to die following a bone fracture. The reasons: Osteoporosis is under recognized and undertreated in African-American women, less than 50 percent of calcium is consumed, which plays a crucial role in building bone mass and preserving bone loss, and as many as 75 percent of all African-Americans are lactose intolerant, since lactose intolerance can hinder calcium intake, people with lactose intolerance often avoid milk and other dairy products that are excellent sources of calcium.
Diseases more prevalent in the African American community are also linked to osteoporosis, such as lupus and sickle-cell anemia. Other general risk factors include:

  • Too little exercise
  • A diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  • A small, thin body frame
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Long term use of certain medications (such as asthma, thyroid, and seizures)
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Estrogen deficiency, resulting from early menopause

Ways To Treat Osteoporosis

There is no cure for osteoporosis, however, there are a certain number of medications to treat osteoporosis and help reduce the rick of fracture. Medications can help to strength the bone and prevent bone loss once the patient has been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Some of the most common medications include, estrogen, hormonal replacement therapy, calcitonin, alendronate sodium, raloxifene, teriparitide, and bisphosphonates.

Prevention of Osteoporosis

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, building strong bones can be the best defense against developing osteoporosis, since bone density and strength are determined primarily in the first 30 years-of-life.

Get Your Exercise On

  • Before menopause, women between 19 and 50 need 1,00 mg of calcium per day. After menopause, women 51 and over need 1,200 mg of calcium a day.
  •  The best exercises for strong bones are weight bearing exercises. There include: walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, aerobics, cycling, and gardening.
  •  Live a healthy lifestyle. Avoid smoking, and drank in moderation.

How To Find Out If You Have It  

If you have a family history of osteoporosis talk to your doctor. They may suggest that you have a bone density test to determine your risk for fractures (broken bones), and measure your response for treatment. The most widely bone mineral density that is called DXA. It is safe and painless, almost the same as a x-ray but with less radiation. The test can measure bone density of the hip and spine. 

For more information on Osteoporosis contact:

National Osteoporosis Foundation

National Institute Of Health

Sammie Ward is a Author/Writer/Publisher.  Don't forget to follow her at Twitter and Facebook

                                                          A Look At Osteoporosis


Copyright(c) 2015 Sammie Ward

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