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Live Well. Eat Well.

May is National Osteoporosis Month

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Did you know that throughout life you are continually losing and rebuilding bone tissue? In fact, children make new bone at a substantially greater rate, compared to adults. This is because during childhood and adolescence, much more bone is being built than lost, as their bones are growing in both size and density. However as we age, the rate at which our bodies are able to rebuild bone tissue gradually decreases, often leading to osteoporosis.

Although the outer layer of bone appears smooth and solid, if you were to look at a magnified view inside of a bone, you would see that it is porous and has a honeycomb-like appearance. When more bone tissue is lost, the holes and spaces within the bones' honeycomb structure become larger, weakening the bone. When bones become weakened in this manner, this means you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, depending upon the overall total bone mineral density.

Why is this concern? Weakened bones are more susceptible to fractures and break easily, even from the mildest stresses, such as bending over or coughing.

There is good news; you are never too young, or too old to protect your bones. And you can improve your bone health at any age. Check back tomorrow to find out how making healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent or delay the onset of osteoporosis.

Today's post was written by Diane Reinhold, MPH, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving Jo Daviess, Stephenson & Winnebago Counties. She specializes in chronic disease prevention, food preservation and worksite wellness.