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Thank you for subscribing to Women's Health, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with information to help you live a healthy lifestyle.  To learn more about what Avera can do to partner with you to improve your health, visit www.Avera.org.

To your health,

The Avera Staff


Osteoporosis is a disease that causes thin bones and loss of bone density. While osteoporosis medications are available, it's a good idea to take steps early on to prevent the disease.

Osteoporosis occurs in 20 percent of American women over the age of 50. Changes in estrogen levels put post-menopausal women at higher risk for the disease. The disease occurs when new bone isn't being formed or already-formed bone is reabsorbed by the body; this causes bones to become fragile, and fractures are more likely to occur.

Changes in daily habits can help prevent osteoporosis. Calcium and phosphate are crucial in forming bone, so consume foods high in calcium, such as cheese, milk, tofu, salmon and spinach. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium; foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks and fortified butter and milk are good sources. Some unhealthy habits can make osteoporosis worse, so don't smoke and limit alcoholic drinks. Learn more about osteoporosis here.

Early on, osteoporosis has few symptoms. If you have a high risk for the disease, your doctor may recommend a bone mineral density test. Learn more about the test here.

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Headaches can be a real annoyance, but at what point do they go beyond an inconvenience to a serious medical condition that needs treatment? Take the pain seriously, and see a doctor if you have recurring headaches.

Headaches are caused by a restriction of blood flow or contraction of muscles. Most are not serious, but they can sometimes indicate health problems. Seek medical treatment in the following situations:

  • You have frequent headaches.
  • You commonly feel weak, numb or have slurred speech during
  • Your daily routines and work are affected.
  • Your headaches have changed in frequency or intensity.
  • Your headaches are combined with loss of balance.
  • Your family has a history of brain aneurysms.

Click here for a tool to help you decide if your headaches need medical attention. This tool should not replace the advice of a doctor.

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In Great Health online archive.