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Osteoporosis Health Center

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Osteoporosis Questions

How can I help my daughter have strong bones?

Teach your daughter early! Making good choices for healthy bones should start in childhood and become habits that last. Help your daughter build healthy bones. Powerful Bones. Powerful Girls.™ is a national education effort to help girls increase the calcium in their diets. The campaign has a user friendly web site at www.cdc.gov/powerfulbones. There is also a web site for parents at www.cdc.gov/powerfulbones/parents. This site provides parents with the information they need to help their daughters build strong bones during the critical window of bone growth—ages 9-12.

Dairy foods make me sick. How can I get enough calcium?

If you are lactose intolerant, it can be hard to get enough calcium. Lactose intolerance means the body is not able to easily digest foods that contain lactose, or the sugar that is found in dairy products like milk. Gas, bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea are symptoms you might have. It can start at any age but often begins as we grow older.

Lactose-reduced and lactose-free products are sold in food stores. There’s a great variety, including milk, cheese, and ice cream. Found at the grocery store or drug store, you also can take special pills or liquids before eating to help you digest dairy foods.

You can also eat foods that have calcium added (fortified), like some cereals and orange juice. Also think about taking calcium pills. But talk to your doctor or nurse first to see which one is best for you. Please note: If you have symptoms of lactose intolerance, see your doctor or nurse. These symptoms could also be from a different, or more serious, illness.

Do men get osteoporosis?

Before the 1990s, we used to think only women got osteoporosis. Now we know that men also have to worry about weak bones. In fact, one in four men over age 50 will suffer a fracture caused by osteoporosis. But women are still four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis because of the loss of estrogen at menopause. Estrogen blocks or slows down bone loss.

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