Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Lincoln from Surrey. Lincoln Wonders, “What is Osteoporosis?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Lincoln!

Why do skeletons like to drink milk? Because it’s good for the bones! Ha! Did that tickle your funny bone? It sure got us laughing. But it’s also true. Milk is very healthy for your bones. In fact, it can help you avoid a bone condition called osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis weakens the bones. Most often, it affects the hip, spine, and wrist bones. People affected are more likely to have bone fractures. They may also have a harder time getting better after injuries.

Have you ever seen a human bone up close? Most people haven’t. Doctors who look at human bones all the time say that, up close, they look like honeycombs. They’re full of tiny holes. When a person has osteoporosis, the holes in their bones are much larger. This makes the bones weaker and easier to break.

Does someone you know have osteoporosis? It’s very common. Experts say that it’s most likely in people over the age of 65. In that age group, it affects about one in four women and one in five men. Often, people don’t know they’re losing bone strength until they fall and break a bone.

That’s why screening is so important. Doctors recommend bone density scans for people at risk of osteoporosis. Scans use x-rays, which help doctors learn about the strength of the bones.

What puts someone at risk of osteoporosis? There are many factors. Often, it runs in families. Do your parents or grandparents have osteoporosis? If so, your doctor will probably want you to get tested as an adult.

Another cause is too little calcium or vitamin D. Low activity levels, low body weight, and smoking can also add to the problem. Some medicines also raise a person’s risk. So do some autoimmune disorders and cancers

When a person has osteoporosis, their doctor will help them come up with a plan for treatment. The goal is always to stop bone loss and rebuild bones. Treatment usually includes medicine, exercise, and changes in diet. 

What can you do to keep your skeleton healthy? Be sure to get plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Your body uses them to keep your bones strong. Many dairy products, like milk and yogurt, are good sources of these nutrients

Other good options are spinach, soybeans, collard greens, egg yolks, and some types of fish. It’s also important to stay active. Walk, run, or hike. Build muscle through weightlifting. These exercises can help keep you healthy.

Your bones play a very important role in your body. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to stand or move! That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to keep them healthy. Try to do something good for your bones every day. Drink a tall glass of milk or go for a family jog. Your skeleton will thank you! 

Standards: CCRA.LS1.A, NGSS.LS1.C, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2

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