7 things to know about osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is, unfortunately, a prevalent reality for women. Here are seven things you need to know about this common bone disease:

1. Women are especially at risk of developing osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about 80 percent of the 10 million Americans with osteoporosis are women.

2. WebMD reports that Caucasian and Asian women are at the greatest risk for developing the disease. However, everyone is prone to developing osteoporosis.

3. Osteoporosis is diagnosed through a bone mineral density test. The test takes about 5-10 minutes to complete.

4. The Mayo Clinic recommends exercise as a good way to help slow bone loss. Weight-bearing and strength training exercises combined can help build stronger bones. 

5. Smoking and drinking increases the risk for developing osteoporosis, according to WebMD.

6. Bones are constantly being regenerated, breaking down old bone and replacing it with new bone, according to the Mayo Clinic. When individuals start to age, this regeneration process slows down and they begin to lose bone mass faster than they can replace it.

7. Adult women over the age of 50 need 1,200 milligrams of calcium every day, while adults from 18-50 years of age need 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, according to WebMD.  Getting enough calcium and Vitamin D, which helps the body process calcium, can help prevent osteoporosis.