In this article, we’re sharing an important message that we feel has the potential to save lives. In light of it being National Osteoporosis Month in the U.S, please take a minute to fully read this content. We’re also going to ask that you forward this article on to other women and men that you know who could be at risk of developing osteoporosis. As you’ll see in a moment, it often affects people who seem healthy on the outside but have no idea they’re coming down with this potentially fatal disease.
You’ve probably heard that osteoporosis is known as “the silent killer.”
What you may not know, is why.
The fact is that even seemingly healthy individuals can develop osteoporosis without ever showing a single symptom. In fact, most people never find out they have osteoporosis until they suddenly shatter a bone, often while doing something routine.
To my ignorance, I always thought calling osteoporosis “the silent killer” was a bit dramatic. But then I found out that it kills more women than all gynecological cancers put together!
That’s not a fact to be taken lightly.
Experience shows that I’m not the only one who was unaware of the severity and impact of osteoporosis. In fact, 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis today and every three seconds, someone suffers from an osteoporotic fracture.
“I was completely unaware of osteoporosis until age 53 when I read a press article about it on the BBC.” – AlgaeCal Customer
What this means is that it’s highly likely someone you know, someone that appears to be totally healthy, is in fact experiencing bone loss right at this very moment.
Imagining my loved ones suffering, when it could be preventable, is something I would rather not think about and I’m sure you feel the same.
That’s why it’s important to spread awareness about osteoporosis all year long, and especially now, given that it’s National Osteoporosis Month.
With that in mind, the following points should help give you and your loved ones a basic idea of what to look out for, how to test for it, and what you can do to prevent and treat it.
This is by no means a definitive guide to osteoporosis, but rather a starting point you can share with your friends and loved ones.
Osteoporosis: Who’s at Risk?
From nof.org: 
“About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.”
Genetics: “At least 30% of the cause of osteoporosis is genetic,” says expert Dr. Gordana Prelevic. “Any woman with a mum, grandmother or aunt who had a hip fracture is at greater increased risk.”
Age: In our lifetime, we increase bone mass from childhood to our mid-thirties at which time we reach our peak bone mass. From then on, we lose about 1% of our bone mass every year.
Gender: Women are 2x more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. Due to menopause, estrogen decreases sharply, which accelerates bone loss. For example, in the five to seven years following menopause, a woman can lose up to 20% of her bone density.
How to Assess Your Risk
DEXA Scan (a.k.a DXA): This is one of the most common methods used to diagnose osteoporosis. It’s a bone mineral density test that will give you a T-score. This T-score compares your bone density with that of an average healthy young adult of your gender. Your first step is to speak with your doctor about osteoporosis and get their recommendation on where and when you should sign up for a test.
(Stay tuned. AlgaeCal will soon be releasing an online osteo/fracture risk assessment that should help people quickly determine what their risk level is of breaking a bone prematurely due to osteoporosis.)
Ways to Prevent or Bounce Back from Bone Loss, Naturally
Calcium: The best way to prevent bone loss is to build strong bones by getting adequate amounts of calcium along with magnesium, trace minerals, vitamins D3 and vitamin K2 from your diet. Osteoporosis is not only due to insufficient daily calcium intake but rather because we do not get sufficient amounts of bone healthy nutrients in our diet. 
Vitamin D: To help your body absorb calcium it is important to get enough vitamin D. You can get vitamin D through sunlight and foods. You need 10-15 minutes of sunlight to the hands, arms, and face, two to three times a week to get enough vitamin D.
Magnesium: Magnesium and calcium work together to keep calcium in your bones and out of your soft tissues. It is always best to get minerals from your diet by eating legumes, and vegetables (especially dark-green, leafy vegetables with chlorophyll).
Exercise: Bone density has a lot to do with what you do – or do not do – in the gym. Regular strength training helps to deposit more minerals in the bones, especially those in the legs, hips and spine. The opposite is also true – lack of regular exercise will accelerate bone loss. Weight-bearing exercise, which is any activity in which your body works against gravity is the best thing you can do. Because when you strengthen your muscles, your bones become stronger from the mechanical stress of exercise. 
Here are some examples: walking, dancing, running, climbing stairs, gardening, doing yoga, tai chi, hiking, playing tennis, or lifting weights, it all helps!
What to Do Next
Have questions about osteoporosis and whether you’re at risk? We encourage you to talk to your doctor and if possible, get a DEXA scan to receive an up to date look at your bone health. And we highly recommend you consider the lifestyle changes mentioned above in regards to diet and nutrition. Your best bet for avoiding bone loss is a combination of the right diet, the right exercise, and testing so you can keep track.
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