Steps men should take to avoid osteoporosis


Osteoporosis in men "has been under-diagnosed, under-reported, and inadequately researched," says the National Osteoporosis Foundation in a new campaign to help men avoid the bone-shattering disease. Take a look at the statistics:

American men over the age of 50 have a greater chance of suffering an osteoporosis-related fracture than of developing clinical prostate cancer. One out of 8 men over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
Each year, 100,000 men suffer hip fractures. A third of them die within a year, usually because of complications such as blood clots in the lung related to either the fracture, surgery to repair the break, or confinement to bed. The immobility reduces lung-clearing capacity, paving the way for life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia.
The incidence of osteoporosis in men is expected to rise as more men live into their 70s, 80s, and 90s. In a study of more than 800 men in Australia, those in their late 70s suffered 3 times as many fractures as those in their early 60s. Men in their 80s experienced 7 times as many fractures as men in their 60s.

In the years directly after menopause, women lose bone much more quickly than men of the same age. But by age 65 or 70, men and women lose bone mass at the same rate. Calcium absorption also decreases in both sexes with advancing age.

Bone-saving measures
While no one can keep from growing older, there's plenty men (and women, too) can do to cut down on the risk of breaking a bone.

Eat plenty of high-calcium foods. The National Osteoporosis Foundation advises men younger than 65 to consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. Men over 65 should consume 1,500 milligrams of calcium daily. Some good sources of calcium: 1 cup skim or 1%-fat milk (300 milligrams), 6 ounces non-fat yogurt (150-300milligrams), 1 ounce Swiss or cheddar cheese (200 milligrams), 6 ounces calcium-fortified orange juice (200 milligrams), and 3 ounces canned salmon with bones (200 milligrams).
Keep alcohol consumption moderate. An Indiana study of more than 100 men that began when they were in their 40s and ended when they were in their 60s showed that those who averaged more than 11/2 drinks a day lost almost 70 percent more bone than nondrinkers.
Don't smoke. In the Indiana study, the more cigarettes smoked, the more bone was lost.
Maintain or improve the strength of the quadri-ceps--the muscles at the front of the upper thighs. In the Australian study, the weaker the quadriceps, the greater was the risk for fractures. It may be because strong quadriceps help prevent falls that can result in broken bones.
Quadriceps strength can decrease as much as 30 percent between the ages of 60 and 80, but such a dramatic loss of power in the thigh muscles is not inevitable. Strength-training exercises such as knee . extensions will keep the quadriceps in shape (see box below). Other activities that stress and thereby strengthen the thighs include walking, jogging, bicycling, and playing sports such as tennis or basketball. Those activities will strengthen muscles and bones not just in the upper legs but in many parts of the body.

5. Speak with your doctor if you take steroids (for example, to treat asthma or arthritis), anticonvul-sants, or aluminum-containing antacids such as Maalox or Mylanta. All of these medications can have a negative impact on bone density, so your physician might advise you to have a bone scan and exercise more or consume more calcium. Certain cancer drugs, such as methotrexate, and other medications like the cholesterol reducer cholestyramine can also have a negative effect on bone.
6. Keep your home fall proof. Falls greatly increase the chances of a fracture, and 1 out of 3 people 65 or older fall each year. Most falls occur at home, often because people trip while walking or slip when getting up from a chair or couch. Make sure floors are free from clutter, and tuck away all loose wires and electrical cords. In addition, keep frequently used items in closets and kitchen cupboards within easy reach rather than on hard-to-get-to shelves.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation has additional suggestions for making your home fall safe and is offering them as part of osteoporosis prevention and treatment kits. Seven different kits are targeted to particular groups: men, older women, mid-life women, young women, adolescents, children, and health professionals. To order a free kit, call 1-888442-9473.

Works the quadriceps (the front of the upper thigh).

Strap weights to your ankles. Put a rolled-up towel or a small cushion on the front part of the seat of a straight-back chair. Sit comfortably in the chair with the backs of your knees resting against the seat. Just the balls of your feet should touch the floor.

Extend one leg out in front of you until it is as straight as possible. Do not grip the chair as you lift, but gently hold onto the seat to help stabilize yourself. Slowly lower your leg until your foot is resting on the floor. Repeat with the other leg.

One set equals 8 to 12 repetitions on both sides. Do 2 sets in a row, 2 or 3 times a week.

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A fracture is defined as a break in the bone. The aim of treatment is to help the bone to recover. I think this example of bone fracture case should be advice to some other doctors in able to treat the fracture necessary. fracture