What if I told you that there are bone bandits lurking in the shadows, completely hidden from view, just waiting for the opportunity to rob your bones of their strength? This probably sounds a little far-fetched, right? Well don’t tell that to the 75% of men and 30-50% of women with osteoporosis who have fallen victim to these bandits!
Bone bandits (also known as secondary osteoporosis) are diseases, medications, and lifestyle choices that silently weaken your bones and increase your risk of fractures over time. While we all experience a slow but progressive loss of bone density as we age, bone bandits create the perfect environment to dramatically increase the speed that you lose bone. You can never let your guard down, because these bandits can strike anyone at any time. They do not care about your age, gender, or ethnicity… we are all at risk!
Why Should You Care About Bone Bandits?
Reason #1: Bone bandits are common.
Since these thieves do such a great job of staying hidden, the exact number is not known. However, several studies have identified that up to 75% of men and 30-50% of women with osteoporosis have fallen victim to the bone bandits!
Reason #2: Bone bandits can damage your bones.
Not all bandits are created equal. Some have been shown to dramatically weaken bones within months, while others may take years to have a significant impact. The end outcome is the same—they directly weaken your bones, leaving them more susceptible to breaking from low trauma injuries.
Reason #3: You may be able to reverse the effects of bone bandits.
There are some bandits that will give back most, if not all of the bone that they stole once they are caught! Catching a bandit typically involves blood and/or urine tests, and a thorough screening by your medical provider. Properly treating an underlying disease or eliminating certain medications known to weaken bones can dramatically improve your bone health.
Reason #4: Identifying bone bandits helps you choose which treatment is best for you.
Not all bone bandits are willing to give back the bone that they stole from you. However, once the bandit has been caught, this gives your medical provider useful information regarding how your bones were weakened, and they will then be able to recommend the best treatment options for you!
Like thieves in the night, the bone bandits are lurking… It’s time to catch them in the act!
My next series will focus on the diseases, medications, and lifestyle choices that can rob your bones of their strength and make you prone to osteoporosis and fractures.