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Health Tip: Men Who Have Osteoporosis

Some preventive steps you can take

(HealthDay News) -- Two million American men have osteoporosis, and another 12 million are at risk for this disease, the National Osteoporosis Foundation says.

Despite the large numbers of men affected, male osteoporosis remains under-diagnosed, underreported, and inadequately researched, the foundation says.

Despite this dearth of scientific research, the organization says enough is known to recommend these suggestions:

  • Recognize and treat any medical conditions that affect bone health. Evaluate the use of medications that are known to cause bone loss (for example, steroids used to treat asthma or arthritis, anticonvulsants, certain cancer treatments, and aluminum-containing antacids).
  • End unhealthy habits, such as smoking, excessive alcohol use and inactivity. Ensure a daily calcium intake of 1,000 milligrams/day to age 50 and 1,200 milligrams/day after 50.
  • Get enough vitamin D. Your skin produces it via natural exposure to sunlight, but many people still don't get enough. Supplements should contain at least 400 IU but no more than 800 IU per day.
  • Engage in a regular regimen of weight-bearing exercises where bone and muscles work against gravity. This includes walking, jogging, racquet sports, stair climbing and team sports. Also, lifting weights or using resistance machines appears to help preserve bone density. Any exercise program should be evaluated by your doctor before you begin.
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