Osteoporosis is an age-related disorder characterized by a loss of bone mass leading to impaired bone strength and increased susceptibility to fractures. There is a normal decline in bone mass in both sexes after 40 years of age. One in four post-menopausal women and one in six men have a significant decrease in their bone mass. It is important to recognize that osteoporosis doesn’t just cause fractures; it can contribute to life-threatening situations. One in three individuals over the age of 60 who break their hip die of complications and half of those with hip fractures never recover complete function and independence.
Factors other than gender and age increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Caucasian or Asian ethnicity, small stature, hormone excess or deficiency, impaired digestion, and the long-term use of certain medications (corticosteroids) can lead to bone loss. Diet and lifestyle factors such as low intake of mineral rich foods and healthy proteins, high intake of sugar, caffeine, and carbonated beverages, smoking and alcohol use, lack of sunlight exposure, and low levels of physical activity also contribute to a decrease in bone density over time.
Because healthy bones are necessary for sustained activity and optimal wellness, it is important to be aware of risk factors for osteoporosis and to monitor bone density on a regular basis. Treatment strategies to ensure optimal bone health, include nutritional support, lifestyle modification, and hormone balance. Calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D & K, as well as increasing estrogen via diet, botanical medicine, and/or bio-identical hormones are some therapies that Dr. Han uses to optimize bone integrity.