Men Are at Risk of Osteoporosis Too!

You’ve probably seen the ads on television with actors Blythe Danner or Sally Field advertising osteoporosis medications.

Well it may surprise you, but men can get osteoporosis too. For men, this medical condition occurs later in life and they experience fewer fractures, including ankle and foot fractures, from osteoporosis. However, men are much more likely to be disabled by fractures due to osteoporosis and twice as likely to die from these injuries within a year.

Here are some surprising facts about men and osteoporosis (data from the International Osteoporosis Foundation):

  • Almost 30% of all hip fractures occur in men.
  • 20% of men over age 50 will experience a fracture from osteoporosis.
  • As do women, men experience bone loss as they get older. However, it doesn’t happen as suddenly as women when menopause occurs.
  • When a man suffers a broken bone from a non-traumatic event like tripping or falling from standing, he is less likely to have his bone health checked than a woman. And men are not routinely checked for bone health even after a fracture from trauma like a car accident.
  • Even doctors may not be aware of the additional factors that put men at risk of osteoporosis: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (C.O.P.D.), celiac disease and treatments for prostate cancer, depression and GERD.

Who Is at Risk of Osteoporosis?

The risk factors for osteoporosis are the same for men and women:

  • Being thin
  • Smoking
  • Drinking more than 3 alcoholic drinks a day
  • Age – over 60 for women and over 70 for men
  • Family history of osteoporosis, especially parents
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • A previous fracture or recent fall
  • Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or stroke
  • Long-term use of certain medications

You Can Lower Your Risk of Osteoporosis

If you have 1 or more of these risk factors, it’s unlikely that you can eliminate your risk of osteoporosis. However, Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM urges you to reduce your risk with these tips:

  • Have regular blood tests for vitamin D and calcium deficiencies and for kidney function.
  • Eat calcium-rich foods like dark green vegetables, sardines with bones and low-fat dairy products.
  • Take calcium and vitamin D supplements. For men, aim for 1,200 mg calcium and 800-1,000 IU vitamin D daily.
  • Add resistance and weight-bearing exercises to your workout routines.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Stop smoking.

Your doctor should be able to assess any medications you take that may block the reabsorption of bone.

Improving your bone health can lower your risk of stress fractures and other foot and ankle injuries. Just ask us if you have any questions on the relationship between bone health and healthy feet.

We Can Help with Any Foot or Ankle Problem

Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience with foot and ankle pain including stress fractures and other injuries. Many treatments and surgeries can be addressed right here in our office. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. Lower your risk of osteoporosis for healthy, strong bones!