If you have a broken bone since the age of 50, you could have osteoporosis. You may be at high risk for more fractures. Fractures can cause disability, loss of independence, and even death. Talk to your doctor about getting tested to find out if you have osteoporosis.
Loss of more than 1.5 inches in height may be due to cractures (crushed bones) in the spine caused by osteoporosis. You can have fractures in the spine without knowing it and without back pain. If you are getting shorter, see your doctor and find out if you have fractures in the spine.
Adults age 50 and older need about 1000 IU vitamin D per day. Since there are few good dietary sources of vitamin D, and exposure to the sun may not be enough, consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Your doctor may want to check your vitamin D blood level to be sure yours is OK.
If your risk of breaking bones is high, you may want to consider taking medications to strengthen your bones and make them less likely to break. There are now many choices of osteoporosis medications. Your doctor can help you decide if you need a medication and which one is best.
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