"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Your beer gut may lead to a broken hip

Osteoporosis is (mistakenly) thought to be a disease of women, when in fact, by the age of 65, men are just as at risk for hip fractures as women.  However, very little is said or written about men and osteoporosis. 

I found this article from NBC News.com pretty interesting, and it's very concerning that men in their 30's are already showing signs of weakening bones.  I asked my own hormone physician, Dr. Carr, about the article (he's a great teacher when I have questions about stuff I read in the media), and he explained to me that excess fat tends to lower testosterone levels in men, and that lower testosterone levels tend to promote fat gain.  Both ways, the bones suffer, and that's not a good thing.  I don't know if it's just because more people have been out in the stores lately because of the holiday season, but over the last 5-6 weeks, I've noticed several men in their late 60's-early 70's (estimate) who have what it known as a dowager's hump, their spinal columns are very bent and they are hunched over.  A clear indication of osteoporosis of the spine. 

I know it seems I carp about bone health a lot ---- and one of the things that I am most proud of is that with weight training exercise, testosterone optimization, and Vitamin D optimization, Dr. Carr and  I were able to reverse my osteopenia (precursor to osteoporosis) and now my bones are comfortably in the normal range for density.  My mother had severe osteoporosis, in fact, she lost 4 1/2 inches in height over the course of about 15 years. She lost her balance and fell on carpeting at home in 1996, she broke her upper arm bone and was hospitalized for nearly 3 weeks.  She became very frightened to walk, and was essentially an invalid for the last two years of her life.  It was miserable for her, and a nightmare for me trying to take care of her.  I am absolutely determined to not go through that as I age, and I have the added incentive to keep my bones strong in that I occasionally fall from accident injuries.  I have landed hard several times and never (so far, knock wood) done anything more serious than scrape up my hands and/or knees (and ruin a couple pair of slacks, sigh).  I hate doing weight exercises, but I do them to stress my bones and keep them strong.