In general, women experience joint and bone problems more often than men do. Nearly one-half of women will suffer a broken bone as a result of osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones and makes them susceptible to breakage. Symptoms occurring late in the disease include bone pain or tenderness, fractures with little or no trauma, loss of height over time, low back pain due to fractures of the spinal bones, neck pain due to fractures of the spinal bones and stooped posture. If you have early or advanced signs of osteoporosis, get treated. There are drug and hormone therapies to help preserve or increase bone mass along with diet and lifestyle changes.

Preventing Osteoporosis

At North Kansas City Hospital, we are dedicated to helping those women who are in early, middle and advanced stages of osteoporosis, but as a matter of principle we firmly believe in taking steps toward prevention, especially since symptoms are hard to recognize in early stages of the disease.

It is crucial for children and teenagers who are undergoing peak bone growth as well as all adult women to learn to live and eat well to protect their bones.

Get enough calcium.

  • 1,500 milligrams for teens.
  • 1,000 before menopause
  • 1,500 for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • 1,500 for women after menopause who are not on hormone replacement therapy.

FYI: a cup of low fat milk or yogurt has 300 milligrams of calcium. Don't forget vitamin D which helps to absorb calcium. Good sources of vitamin D are saltwater fish, liver, milk and egg yolks.

Get enough exercise. Any type of weight-bearing exercise (30 minutes daily) help keep your bones and muscles strong. Walking, dancing, climbing steps and lifting weights all help to prevent osteoporosis.

Don't smoke. Smoking is associated with lower bone density and higher risk of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis Risk

Know your risk for the disease. Consider family history of disease or hip fractures, white or Asian descent, thin or small-boned body frame, smoking, alcohol intake, sedentary lifestyle and certain medication like anti-convulsants, thyroid hormone and corticosteroids as risk factors. If at risk, consider getting a DEXA test (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) which measures bone density and is considered a reliable predictor of osteoporosis risk.

Whether you're in the stage of prevention, identification or treatment, our experts will guide the course. Find out more about osteoporosis.