As we celebrate dads and the important men in our lives during June, it’s also a good time to check in on their well-being so that they can be around with us for many years (and Father’s Days) to come.
June is Men’s Health Month bringing awareness about the prevention and treatment of common men’s issues like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, prostate, testicular and colon cancers, depression and other mental illness.
One serious condition that often goes overlooked in men is osteoporosis—a loss of bone density/weakening of bones. Osteoporosis can lead to stiffness, loss of mobility, and a risk of debilitating fractures.
In women, osteoporosis is frequently caused by hormonal changes that occur during menopause. And experts say that similar hormonal deficiencies later in a man’s life – such as Low T or low testosterone – could contribute to osteoporosis as well.
What is Low T (Low Testosterone)?
The American Urological Association estimates that two out of every one hundred men suffers from low testosterone.
Although testosterone is mostly associated with sexual function, it is also important in the development of bones and muscle mass. As production of the hormone decreases with age, bones are deprived of the essential nutrients once supplied by it leaving them brittle and susceptible to breaks.
Many common medications prescribed for high blood pressure, depression, and certain cancers can also cause Low T, making osteoporosis a potential consequence too.
Low T can be detected with simple blood and urine tests, then treated with effective hormone replacement therapies. Osteoporosis is diagnosed via a bone density test, similar to an X-ray.
What is the treatment for osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis can be helped by taking supplements or specific medications suggested by your physician and making sure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D in your daily diet. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium for men 70 years and older. Men should also get 800-1,000 IU daily of vitamin D.
At Texas Orthopedics, we also advise regular physical activity combined with resistance and weight-bearing exercise to strengthen bones.
To schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists to discuss your risk of osteoporosis, visit us online anytime.
(Adapted from the NIH: National Institutes of Health)