Broken Bones

Eliminating some of the risk factors associated with osteoporosis may reduce the chances of a broken bone.

The majority of broken bones result from accidents and as the result of old age. Risk factors include the disease osteoporosis, in which the amount of calcium slowly decreases and bones become brittle and prone to fracture.

If you provide care to someone with osteoporosis, encouraging a change in certain kinds of living habits may help to prevent bone damage. Factors that may increase the likelihood of broken bones include:

  • Too much or too little exercise
  • Drinking 1-2 cups of caffeinated coffee a day. Interestingly, other caffeinated beverages such as tea and soda have not been found to have this effect.
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Dietary deficiencies such as calcium and vitamin D, as well as high sodium intake
  • Being underweight
  • Having an eating disorder
  • Depression
  • Lack of sunlight
  • Genetic factors and indicators such as early gray hair (half gray by early 20s) and certain medical conditions (alcoholism, hyperthyroidism, chronic liver disease, scurvy, rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia, lymphoma, gastrointestinal diseases, and rare genetic disorders)

If your loved one’s lifestyle includes one or more of these risk factors, do something about it now. It’s never too late to improve health by making changes. Even small ones—like moving a favorite chair by an open window or opening blinds to allow more sunlight—can make a difference.

If more than one risk factor applies to your loved one, try making changes one at a time. Avoid attempts to incorporate sweeping changes immediately. Start with small to medium-sized changes, and make the necessary adjustments to facilitate healthier habits in day-to-day routines.

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