I’m not as tall as I used to be.  Is it normal for a man or women to lose height as they age?

Nearly all men and women lose some height as they get older.  As you age, you experience a loss of muscle and tissue mass and bone density, particularly in your spine, where the discs that cushion the vertebrae lose height.

Gravity does the rest.  Beginning around age 40, most people lose approximately a half-inch of height every decade and this process may accelerate after age 70.  On average, you may lose about 2 inches in overall height due to advancing age.

If you experience more significant or rapid height lose, you may have one or more fractured vertebrae due to osteoporosis.  These fractures may be painless and difficult to identify.  Also, loss of bone density in your vertebrae may cause your spine to curve excessively, leading to further height loss.

Doing exercises that strengthen your back and improve your posture may help slow height lose.  And , get a least 1,200 mg. of calcium (from low-fat/fat free dairy products) and 800-1000 international units of vitamin D (from fatty fish, D-fortified milk, or supplements) daily to help maintain strong bones.
Measure your height periodically.  Your doctor also should check for osteoporosis and spinal fractures if you lose height quickly.

Thanks to Tim Rhone and Lenny Jones shrinking I am experiencing the greatest growth spurt in my life.

Portions of this post reference articles from the Harvard Medical Newsletter. 



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