Millions of Americans are dealing with osteoporosis.
In tonight's thrive segment, KEYC News 12's Brittany Kemmerer explains the serious disease and healthy steps to take to increase bone health.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes thinning and weakening of the bones.
People at risk include post-menopausal women, women and men who smoke, history of alcohol use, or a family history.
Mankato Clinic Nurse Practitioner Mandy Welke says, "Patients who have metabolic disorders can be at risk for that bone regrowth problem. People who are on chronic steroids can sometimes be at risk for that too because steroids can cause weakening and thinning of the bones."
Eliminating smoking, performing weight bearing exercises and in taking an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D are ways to strengthen your bones.
Welke says, "What that does is it triggers the bone to turn over and produce more regrowth of the bone to heal strengthen them."
Osteoporosis is a silent disease. You might not know you have it until you break a bone.
Welke says, "It is a serious condition. People can just by putting weight on a bone if they're at a very high risk they can just fracture it pathologically without any falls or injuries. People end up in hospitals with broken hips and loss of work time."
Talk to your doctor about screening and preventative treatments that would best suit your needs.
Welke says, "Post-menopausal women over 65 should be talking with their providers about bone density testing to check and see if they're at risk for fractures. Men there's various guidelines for that but also older men should be talking to their providers too and looking at their risk factors and seeing if they're a candid for bone density test."
For those dealing with the disease, treatment options are available.
Welke says, "There's pills out there that can help strengthen the bones, different IV treatments and injectables that can slow that bone turnover down so that they have that density."
Paying attention to your decisions and making healthy choices when you're young can help you stay clear of Osteoporosis.
Welke says, "I really stress to my adolescent population and early adults to get that calcium and vitamin d in. I know it's a hard time when you're young and busy and you don't think nutrition is important but that's really when the foundation for those minerals and nutrients are placed in the bone so it can have an impact several years down the road."

--KEYC News 12