KODE — 1.3 million Americans suffer fractures related to osteoporosis every year.

Painful on its own, but it also raises a significant risk of death for elderly patients.

“As women grow older, especially the postmenopausal women, the bone tends to get weaker because the estrogen also plays an important role in building the bones and the estrogen levels fall and the bones get weaker,” said Dr. Namrata Susarla, Internal Medicine.

So women need to make sure they’re getting enough calcium in their diet. For younger women, it should be 800 – 1000 milligrams a day.

“For postmenopausal women, we recommend taking calcium. Almost 1200 milligrams per day,” said Dr. Susarla.

Start with your diet including milk, cheese, and yogurt.

“Even ice creams and orange juice, almonds, and beans. Things like that,” said Dr. Susarla.

Vitamin D is also crucial to make sure the calcium is absorbed properly, 800 international units a day.

“Sun is obviously the best source of vitamin D. It’s interesting – I have some patients who have low vitamin D and they come back from a beach holiday and the vitamin D goes up,” said Dr. Susarla.

And, check your other medications. Some prescriptions can hurt your bone health.

“Not just medicines but there are certain medical conditions that can also impact your bone density. So if you have some certain diseases that are affecting your gut, especially that can affect your absorption, like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or any rheumatoid arthritis,” said Dr. Susarla.