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Bone Health in Women

Why is bone health important for women?

While bone health is important for everyone, keeping your bones strong is especially important for women. That’s because women are more likely to develop bone diseases such as osteoporosis than men. In fact, 80% of the people in the U.S. who have osteoporosis are women, and one in four women over age 65 has the condition.

According to the Office on Women’s Health, there are several factors that increase women’s risk for bone loss and the development of osteoporosis:

  • Women’s bones are naturally smaller, thinner and less dense than men’s bones.
  • On average, women live longer than men, which means they have a longer period during which bone loss can occur, putting them at an increased risk.
  • When women reach menopause, typically around age 50, their estrogen levels decline. Estrogen helps protect against bone loss, so women lose more bone mass after they reach menopause.
  • Eating disorders can also contribute to weak bones and put women at a higher risk of osteoporosis.
  • Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are additional risk factors for osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is dangerous because when your bones are fragile, they can easily break. You could break a bone with a light fall that ordinarily wouldn’t cause a problem, or even get a bone fracture when you’re coughing, sneezing or bending. You could also get a compression fracture in your spine because those bones are no longer strong enough to support your body weight, leading to significant loss of bone density and strength and resulting in weak bones.

One in three women over age 65 will likely have an osteoporosis-related fracture. Recovering from these fractures can require surgery and take a long time. In many cases, women may never get back the mobility and independence they had before a fracture caused by osteoporosis. 

Preventing bone loss and osteoporosis

There are a few steps women can take to keep their bones as strong and healthy as possible in the long term:

  • Include weight-bearing physical activity in your routine. Good options include dancing, tennis, running and resistance training.
  • Make sure your diet includes plenty of calcium, which is essential for your body to absorb calcium effectively to strengthen bones. Dairy foods, leafy green vegetables and enriched foods like cereal, bread and orange juice are good sources of calcium.
  • Get plenty of vitamin D. Your body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Before you put on your sunscreen, 10-15 minutes of morning sunlight on your face, hands and arms two to three times a week is usually enough. You can also get vitamin D from eggs, tuna, salmon and enriched foods like cereal, milk and orange juice.
  • Talk to your doctor about taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake.
  • Be careful to avoid falls.

Get the facts about osteoporosis

Learn more about what you can do to lower your risk of osteoporosis, when and how you should get a bone density scan and the many treatments that are available if you’re diagnosed with osteoporosis. Regular bone density tests are important for monitoring bone health, especially for women over age 65 or those at higher risk for osteoporosis.

Comprehensive women's bone health care

Choosing Banner Health for your women's bone health ensures comprehensive care tailored to your individual needs. Our experienced health care professionals specialize in women's health, including bone health management and osteoporosis treatment. With state-of-the-art facilities and advanced diagnostic tools, we provide accurate assessments of bone density and personalized treatment plans to optimize your bone health. 

Our commitment to preventive care empowers you with the knowledge and resources needed to proactively maintain strong and healthy bones throughout your life. Whether you're seeking preventive measures, diagnostic screenings or treatment options for osteoporosis, Banner Health is dedicated to supporting you every step of the way on your journey to optimal bone health.