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How can I prevent osteoporosis before it starts?

ANSWER

Osteoporosis is largely preventable. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D as a child and teenager can greatly lower your odds for osteoporosis later in life. Even if you're an adult, a healthy diet, enough calcium and vitamin D, exercise, limited alcohol, and not smoking may prevent the condition. After menopause, women who have osteopenia, or thinning of the bones, and who have a high likelihood for a future fracture from osteoporosis can consider drug therapies to prevent bone loss and lower their chances of osteoporosis.

SOURCES:

Shreyasee Amin, MD, rheumatologist, assistant professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Black, D. , May 3, 2007. NEJM

John Schousboe, MD, director, Park Nicollet Clinic Osteoporosis Center, St. Louis Park, Minn.; consultant rheumatologist, American College of Rheumatology.

Mulder, J. , 2006. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "Physician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis," "BMD Testing: What the Numbers Mean," "Osteoporosis in Men."

New York State Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program: "Heredity."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health: "Osteoporosis."

WebMD Medical Reference: "Juvenile Osteoporosis."

WebMD Feature: "Exercise for Osteoporosis."

University of Arizona, College of Agriculture: "High Calcium Foods."

Reviewed by David Zelman on May 05, 2018

SOURCES:

Shreyasee Amin, MD, rheumatologist, assistant professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Black, D. , May 3, 2007. NEJM

John Schousboe, MD, director, Park Nicollet Clinic Osteoporosis Center, St. Louis Park, Minn.; consultant rheumatologist, American College of Rheumatology.

Mulder, J. , 2006. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "Physician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis," "BMD Testing: What the Numbers Mean," "Osteoporosis in Men."

New York State Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program: "Heredity."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health: "Osteoporosis."

WebMD Medical Reference: "Juvenile Osteoporosis."

WebMD Feature: "Exercise for Osteoporosis."

University of Arizona, College of Agriculture: "High Calcium Foods."

Reviewed by David Zelman on May 05, 2018

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How much calcium do I need to prevent osteoporosis?

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