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May is Osteoporosis awareness and prevention month

Posted at 7:39 AM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 08:39:28-04

The month of May is Osteoporosis awareness and prevention month.  One in two women and one and four men will break a bone in their lifetime due to the disease.

Osteoporosis is often called the silent disease. 

"You are really not going to know that you have osteoporosis until you break a bone," said Nebraska Medicine Dr. Laura Graeff-Armas. 

Dr. Graeff-Armas says it can be detected through a DXA scan, women age 65 and men age 70 all get one.  But, usually a fall is what alerts doctors to an issue. 

A fracture is what brought Mina Duncan to Nebraska Medicine.  The disease is hereditary.  Duncan's mother had it and it eventually took her life at age 92.  The goal now is to keep this active grandma from breaking another bone. 

"I told my grandson that I would not run backwards in the backyard," said Mina Duncan. 

Prevention starts with proper nutrition as a kid.  After a break, doctors say Vitamin D and Calcium help.

Duncan, like a lot of patients takes medicine to help maintain bone mass.  It is also imperative for postmenopausal women to do weight bearing exercises.  

Because exercise is so beneficial, that is why you usually find the Blast class at Better Bodies Gym near 120th and F streets packed with women ages 55 and up. 

A handful of women in the class have osteoporosis and say working out takes away the worry of breaking a bone. 

Doctors say having good balance and strength also keeps people from spontaneously falling down.