If you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you are right to be concerned. Family history is certainly a risk factor for osteoporosis. But what you have learned from your own diagnosis can truly help your daughter.
Making exercise a habit is critical to keeping bones strong through midlife and beyond.
Women beginning midlife should make themselves aware of all the risk factors for developing osteoporosis. First, at the age of 40, unless she is one of the 1% who experience premature menopause (natural and total cessation of menstrual periods before the age of 40), she is likely to still be making the necessary estrogen to protect her bones. She should continue to take adequate calcium and Vitamin D for her age, which means 1,000 to 1,200 mg of elemental calcium and 400 IU of Vitamin D per day. This may mean assessing her diet and supplementing it if she does not get enough calcium through dairy products and other foods (see Table 4 in Question 48). If she smokes, she should stop. If she drinks excessive alcohol, she should stop that, too. Equally important, she should develop an exercise routine that puts the necessary stress on her bones for them to continue to remodel appropriately. Making exercise a habit is critical to keeping bones strong through midlife and beyond (see Questions 44-46).
If your daughter is 40 and also has asthma or one of the autoimmune disorders that require treatment with steroids, she needs to be aware that steroids can cause significant bone loss. She should consult her clinician about taking a medication that will help her maintain her bone density.
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