News Center

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No bone of contention: Some men at risk of osteoporosis

INDIANAPOLIS – For those who think osteoporosis is a woman’s disease, think again. Some 2.5 million American males have it, and countless more are at risk.

“Unfortunately, osteoporosis often goes undiagnosed until weak bones break,” said Stefan Monev, M.D., rheumatologist with Rheumatology and Osteoporosis Specialists at St. Francis. “However, a bone mineral density test can detect bone loss. Talk to your doctor if you have risk factors for osteoporosis or if you have lost height, your posture changes or you notice sudden back pain.”

Ways to maintain bone health:

• Don’t smoke; it’s hard on bones.

• Be sure to get 1,200 mg calcium and 800 IU vitamin D from diet and supplements daily. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium.

• Exercise regularly. Weight-bearing activities, like walking, are good choices.

Monev said it is crucial to determine the causes for low bone density at the onset of the disease and to seek immediate and appropriate treatment. Conditions such as vitamin D deficiency frequently contribute to bone loss and may require specific therapies.

Medications are available that help build bone and decrease risk of breakage in men with osteoporosis.

To learn more about rheumatology and osteoporosis services at St. Francis, visit