One More Reason Women Need Exercise: The "Silent Killer"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Osteoperosis: os·te·o·po·ro·sis. /ˌästēōpəˈrōsis/ : a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.

Let's have a chat about Osteoperosis. Here are the most staggering facts about osteoporosis that I found while researching from The Recall Center, Mayo Clinic and WebMD:
  • Over 10.2 million adults have Osteoporosis and another 43.4 million have low bone mass
  • This disease accounts for more time spent in the hospital than diseases like diabetes, heart attacks and breast cancer
  • One out of every two women and one in four men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. The most serious osteoporotic fractures are hip fractures.
  • The majority of those who experience hip fractures will require assistance in their day-to-day lives. Twenty percent of seniors who suffer a hip fracture die within a year.
  • Nearly 75% of all hip fractures occur in women.
  • Osteoporosis accounts for more time spent in the hospital than diseases like diabetes, heart attack and breast cancer among women over 45.
  • Hip fractures cost more than $11 billion each year (approximately $37,000 per patient) (hello student loan amounts)
  • When osteoporosis becomes severe, it can lead to fractures and a condition called kyphosis. Kyphosis is spinal compression, sometimes described as the "dowager's hump." Both fractures and kyphosis can be very painful. 
  • Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease," because most of the time, bone loss occurs without any symptoms at all.
These facts are really freaking scary! So what can we do to make sure we aren't old ladies with broken hips that cost more than out of state college and require live-in assistance to perform daily tasks? According to the Mayo Clinic there are 3 simple ways to prevent this disease:

1. Adequate amounts of calcium
  • Men and women between 18 and 50 need 1,000-12000 milligrams of calcium each day.
  • 1 cup almond milk = ~450 milligrams of calcium
  • 1 serving Greek Yogurt = 350 milligrams calcium
  • Dark green leafy veggies (kale, spinach, etc) = ~30 mg calcium per one cup

2. Adequate amounts of vitamin D (helps your body absorb calcium)
  • We need around 600-800 IUs/day 
  • 1 cup almond milk = 100 IU of vitamin D
  • Salmon = 199 IU/half filet (also think tuna, mackerel, other fatty fish)
  • 1 Egg (with the yolk) = 260 IU
  • We should get more than 90 percent of our vitamin D from casual, daily sun exposure
  • The human body is able to produce as much as 10,000 IU to 20,000 IU of vitamin D3 in just 30 minutes

3. Exercise 
  • It always comes back to exercise right? One of the benefits of exercise is that it builds  the amount and "thickness" of our bones (esp in teen years, but it's not too late for us!) aka "bone mass and density", and slows bone loss
  • The best types of exercises for preventing osteoporosis are weight bearing, flexibility, and resistance. 


  1. When I was a vegan, this used to worry me a lot. I wasn't eating diary or eggs and I used to stress about it. Now that I eat a more flexible diet, I try to get in what I can to up my calcium. It's hard though and smart to think about it now before it becomes a problem.

  2. Great post! It's something we should all be thinking about NOW... not when there is an issue.

    I always have to remember to get the right amount of calcium and vitamin D in...


  3. When I went to the doctor about a year and a half ago to try and figure out why I didn't feel so great, I had some blood work done. I found out one of the factors was being low in Vitamin D. I also was dangerously low in Vitamin B as well. Unfortunately, my body doesn't absorb B very well, but I was able to get my D level up with over the counter supplements. It is certainly something we should all start thinking about now so that we don't have problems later when we could have done something to prevent it!

  4. wow. this is terrifying and eye opening. i definitely don't pay attention to my intake of things like this - i like almond milk and spinach but i'm not a yoghurt fan. thanks for sharing such an important issue!

  5. Wow! Good to know. Glad to report I get a healthy dose of all three. #wowlinkup

  6. The vitamin D is what scares me living in NE now, but maybe I got my fill growing up in Florida haha!!

  7. Great info Lindsay! Super super important for us ladies to remember. #wowlinkup

  8. This is such a great post!! Prevention is key!!

  9. I think sardines are also a great source of calcium, I might have to double check that. I love the inforgraphic and I will share it on my page. #wowlinkup

  10. Thanks for this post Lindsay! Was really informative

  11. I love that almond milk has more calcium in it than cows milk!

  12. Love this! At the ripe old age of 33, I suffer from osteoporosis due to a vitamin D deficiency since I can't go in the sun, and being on medications that literally eat my bones. It's staggering to see these facts. Good work <3

  13. Thanks for visiting my blog:)

    This is such a great reminder to take care of our bodies. Now it's just a matter of convincing myself to get out the door to exercise...

  14. So true that this is a silent killer! Thanks for bringing light to it!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  15. I used to work in a CCRC and as women get older they lose calcium and their bones weaken. It is imperative to get their bone density checked on a regular basis too. Extremely important. Great article. #wowlinkup

  16. my grandmother has this. it is very serious.

  17. Such an important topic-thanks for spreading awareness :) #wowlinkup

  18. My doctors just brought this up at my last checkups. Apparently I am short (5'1") which means I have a slightly higher risk then taller women. So I have been working hard to stay active, add some strength training to my regimen and getting enough calcium. #wowlinkup


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