STATE COLLEGE - In the United States, one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
With the average man's longevity increasing by five years, statistically, more men will be diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones and makes them more likely to break. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 2 million American men already have osteoporosis, and another 12 million are at risk.
"Men don't consider osteoporosis since it mostly afflicts women," said William Ayoub, FACP, FACR, M.D., rheumatology specialist at Rheumatology Patton Forest State College "Most men don't know they have it until they break a bone."
Osteoporosis is a manageable condition, but the best defense against osteoporosis is to develop habits which incorporate preventive measures. Eating healthy, exercising, not smoking or drinking too much alcohol can reduce one's risk of developing osteoporosis.
"To prevent osteoporosis, it is recommended men consume calcium and vitamin D daily," said Dr. Ayoub. "Even if a man already has osteoporosis, developing a daily regimen for consuming the proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D can reduce the chance of breaking a bone."
The National Osteoporosis Foundation makes the following calcium and vitamin D recommendations for men. Calcium intake is based on food and supplement consumption.
"Men age 50 and under should consume 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium and 400-800 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily.
"Men between the ages of 50-69 require 1,000 mg of calcium and 800-1,000 IUs of vitamin D daily.
"Men age 70 and older need a total of 1,200 mg of calcium and 800-1,000 IUs of vitamin D daily.
Men with osteoporosis are more prone to breaking bones later in life when recovering from a break is especially difficult. Improving ones bone health can be as easy as getting the recommended daily allowances of calcium and vitamin D, participating in regular muscle strengthening exercises, not smoking or drinking alcohol, seeing your physician regularly for check-ups, having a bone density test and taking any osteoporosis medication prescribed by your provider.
"Osteoporosis isn't just a disease in women," said Dr. Ayoub. I encourage men to be proactive in regards to their bone health."