Both women and men need adequate calcium throughout their lives, but the amount you need depends on your age, whether you’re pregnant or lactating, and other factors.
Calcium actually helps your body make bone as a child and young adult, but it serves other important purposes: It helps your heart and brain function, and your blood to clot.
These vying needs set up a competition of sorts in your body. When it experiences a calcium deficit, your body prioritizes your needs and uses the store that you have by directing it to your organs first. Your bones lose out, become brittle, and break easily. This is what sets you up for osteoporosis.
The Tri-State Orthopaedics team helps patients with both osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Dr. Apurva Dalal has the expertise to repair an osteoporosis-related fracture if you suffer one, but he’s also dedicated to working with you to prevent your condition from worsening.
If you have osteoporosis’ precursor osteopenia, slowing or delaying its onset is Dr. Dalal’s priority.
The calcium conundrum
Calcium is an essential mineral if your body is to work properly, but getting enough — and making sure you absorb it completely — can be a challenge. The older you get, the less adept your body becomes at absorbing calcium.
Foods high in calcium include dairy products, dark green leafy veggies, legumes, and certain fish like canned salmon with bones. Many foods are also fortified with calcium, like nondairy “milks,” dry cereals, and juices. Over-the-counter calcium supplements are another resource to ensure you’re getting enough.
Meanwhile, vitamin D aids your body in absorbing calcium. You can get vitamin D from the sun, but you don’t want to get too much sun and up your risk for melanoma. Fortunately, vitamin D is also present in fatty fish, the yolks of eggs, and cheese, and foods like cereals and juices are fortified with it.
Osteoporosis isn’t just a women’s disease
Though more women are affected by osteoporosis, men aren’t immune to it. In fact, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 2 million men have osteoporosis and another 12 million are at risk. If you’re male and over 50, you have a higher chance of breaking a bone due to the disease than getting diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Arriving at an osteoporosis diagnosis and how to proceed
Some hallmarks of osteoporosis are a stooped posture and a hump on your upper back, otherwise known as kyphoscoliosis. If you experience these symptoms or worse, suffer a fracture, seek help from Dr. Dalal.
He orders a bone density test to determine whether you have osteoporosis or are in the danger zone. Armed with this knowledge, Dr. Dalal creates a treatment designed specifically for you, which may include:
- Dietary changes and medication advice to ensure sufficient calcium and vitamin D levels
- Recommendations to reduce tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine consumption
- Advice about including weight-bearing exercise in your routine
- A home safety analysis to examine fall risk
He also monitors you closely to prevent the possibility of an osteoporosis bone break, the most common locations of which are the spine, wrist, and hip. A very important fact to be aware of is that if you have already suffered a broken bone due to osteoporosis, you’re at much greater risk to suffer another.
Dr. Dalal doesn’t only treat fractures, he provides key preventive care and advice so you avoid future fractures.
Learn about your osteoporosis or fracture risk
Enlist Dr. Dalal as a soldier in your battle against osteoporosis-related health problems. At this time, he’s seeing patients both virtually and at the office, with proper COVID-19 protocols in place.
Call either our Memphis or Germantwon office to set up an appointment, or schedule a consultation with us using our online booking option.