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Osteoporosis: It Strikes Men, Too
What millions of men should know about low testosterone and osteoporosis.
As the cold weather approaches and the task of heading outside to shovel heavy snow looms, it is important for men to think about their bone strength and overall health. Osteoporosis is a disease that many people assume only affects women—but did you know it can also impact men and their health? According to data from the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis affects approximately 2 million American men and few recognize the condition as a significant threat to their mobility and independence. Men may also be unaware of other causes or conditions that can increase their risk of developing osteoporosis.
Throughout life, bone density is affected by heredity, diet, physical activity, lifestyle choices and the use of certain medications. Research has also shown that men with a condition called hypogonadism, more commonly known as low testosterone, may have an increased risk for osteoporosis. A combination of factors can play a role in the rate of bone loss in the body which can lead to low bone mineral density, fragility of the skeleton and ultimately osteoporosis.
“Unfortunately many men do not realize that a decrease in bone mineral density may be attributed to undiagnosed low levels of testosterone,” says Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, director of Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. “But studies have shown that the prevalence of osteoporosis in men is higher than previously thought because of the increased risk associated with other conditions like hypogonadism, making it important for men to visit their doctor to discuss the condition and potential risk factors.”
Hypogonadism affects up to 4 million men in the U.S., most of whom remain untreated because its signs and symptoms are nonspecific. These men may experience sexual dysfunction, decreased sexual desire and muscle mass, loss of body hair and decreased bone mineral density, which can negatively impact their lives. These symptoms can interfere with vital daily functions.
Make no bones about it—osteoporosis can severely impact men and their health, including potentially leading to broken bones and limited mobility. Men who believe they are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone should consult their physician about proper diagnosis and potential treatment options.
Article source: ARA Content.