May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. That makes it the perfect opportunity to identify your risk for osteoporosis and to take action that will protect your bones. To do that, you’re going to want to spend a moment familiarizing yourself with osteoporosis and what it means for your health. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens your bones. It does this by thinning out the framework that’s inside of your bones. When someone has osteoporosis, even minor bumps and falls can lead to broken bones.

Experts estimate that about 10 million people in the United States have osteoporosis. They also say that another 34 million people are at risk of developing osteoporosis. It’s essential that older adults familiarize themselves with this disease since they’re the ones who are most affected by it.

Who Gets Osteoporosis?

People who are over 50 years old are most at risk for osteoporosis. This is because at that point in our lifespan, we tend to lose more bone than we add, creating an overall reduction in bone density. There are certain conditions and lifestyle factors that can also increase your risk of developing osteoporosis, including:

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Inactivity
  • Smoking cigarettes and drinking too much alcohol
  • Eating disorders that reduce body weight
  • Low levels of estrogen (women) or testosterone (men)

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If you have any of these conditions, you should be taking osteoporosis even more seriously. Thankfully, there are a few steps that you can take to protect yourself from developing the disease.

Fighting Back Against Osteoporosis

There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of getting osteoporosis. One of the most important is to hit your daily calcium quota. This is 1,200 milligrams daily for women over 50 and men over 70 or 1,000 milligrams for women under 50 and men under 70.

You can also lower your risk by getting more exercise. Studies have found that regular weight-bearing exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve bone strength. You can get this exercise through walking, weight training, dancing, or any other type of activity that puts your bones to work.

Another way to make an impact is to adjust the types of foods you eat. You can reduce your risks for osteoporosis by adding vitamin D, potassium, and protein to your diet. You can get these important minerals from foods like bananas, raisins, orange juice, and many types of vegetables.

Use Medicare to Learn Whether You’re at Risk for Developing Osteoporosis

The best way to protect yourself from osteoporosis is to get informed about your personal risk. The only way to do that is by consulting with a doctor. Thankfully, you can use your Medicare health insurance to do this. Medicare covers the cost of a bone mass measurement test for at-risk patients once every 24 months. You may even be able to get the test covered more often if than that if a doctor deems it medically necessary.

Of course, the specifics of your coverage will depend on the type of Medicare plan you have. If you’d like to learn more about that, then consider reaching out to a partnered licensed agent with Time for 65. They can provide you with the Medicare information you need to figure out how you’ll pay for osteoporosis testing.

Getting started is easy. You can do so by either filling out this form or giving us a call.