Osteoporosis is a gradual breakdown of bones due to a lack of calcium. Your bones lose density, become brittle, and are easy to break. It is a disease of heredity and lifestyle. You cannot do much about heredity, but you can do a lot to prevent much of it with lifestyle modification. You will not see any visible signs with osteoporosis, but year after year, the bones get weaker. Bone loss occurs without symptoms. Osteoporosis affects both men and women and can strike at any age. How can you prevent osteoporosis will help you on your journey to be safe and have strong bones to live a long and healthy lifestyle.
To have osteoporosis is to have weak bones that break easily, so it’s up to you to do all you can to build and maintain strong bones. You won’t suspect that there is a problem until you fracture a wrist, hip, or spinal bone, or your doctor notices a decrease in your height. For women fifty years and older, the risk of an osteoporosis bone fracture is fifty percent.
Osteoporosis is a major concern. About ten million Americans have osteoporosis and another thirty-four are at risk of getting the disease. Although women have a greater risk of getting the disease, men get it also. Osteoporosis is easy to diagnose and it is treatable. Your risk rises with age, especially in the first five to seven years after menopause, when a drop in estrogen may result in a loss of bone mass.
Bones which break most often
The hips, spine, and wrists are the bones people with osteoporosis break most often. Falls, most often are the usual way the hips and wrists will break. When the spines are weakened they can suffer fractures when a person bends forward or lifts heavy objects. According to research, one in four men will experience broken bone such as the hip, spine, and wrist, after fifty. In the year after breaking a hip, men have a greater risk of dying from complications than women do. All men should see their health care providers to discuss their bone health, and what to do to prevent osteoporosis.
Are you at risk?
Osteoporosis increases the risk for broken bones. It can happen to anyone. It more commonly affects the elderly, postmenopausal women, individuals of Caucasian or Asian descent but others can be at a lower risk of getting the disease. You are postmenopausal if you have not had your monthly period for twelve months in a row. Knowing that you are at increased risk for osteoporosis may help you to take the necessary steps needed to protect yourself. Women are not the only ones who need to take preventive measures. Men need to do this as well. Knowing your risk factors is the first step in taking an active role in early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of osteoporosis.
Here are some of the risk factors for osteoporosis
A woman older than 65 or a man older than 70, White or Asian, you reached menopause, a close relative has osteoporosis or has broken a bone, you have broken a bone after age 50, you have lost more than 1-1/2 inches of height or have stooped posture, you rarely exercise, you rarely get enough calcium, you smoke, you have more than two drinks of alcohol several times a week, you take steroid medications, you are underweight or thin, and you have rheumatoid arthritis.
Whether you are high risk or low risk, aging will change your bone formation. In young adults, fifteen to thirty percent of the skeleton is renewed each year and bone mass remains stable during adulthood, but after age thirty-five bone loss exceeds bone growth. Having risk factors may increase your chances of getting the disease, but it does not mean that you will get the disease. According to research, the more risk factors you have, the greater your risk for osteoporosis. Knowing your risk factors is the first step in taking an active role to prevent the disease. How can you prevent osteoporosis will guide you in the right direction so keep on reading.
Difference between osteoarthritis and osteoporosis
Sometimes there is confusion between osteoarthritis and osteoporosis because they are similar. One is, the wear and tear of the joints, and the other has to do with weak brittle bones. Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints and surrounding tissue and is described as the wear and tear of the joints. Osteoporosis is a bone disorder with loss of normal strength and a decrease in bone mass. With osteoporosis, the bone is brittle and breaks easily.
Maintain good bone health
Maintaining good bone health such as eating a healthy diet and ensuring you get enough calcium and vitamin D, can help prevent osteoporosis. Your bones will not get enough calcium if you are not getting the right amount of vitamin D to help them absorb the mineral. Your needs for these will change over time. Your age depends on how much you should take each day. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out more. Calcium is a nutrient that is essential for strong bones. Ninty nine percent of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones and teeth and one percent is found in your blood. Blood calcium is necessary to support your body’s critical functions such as controlling your blood pressure and maintaining your heartbeat.
Be aware: Research states that salt, caffeine, and protein play a role in removing calcium from your body. What to do, is to cut back on processed, canned and fast foods, chips, pickles, and other items that are high in salt. The daily limit for salt is about 2,400 mg assuming that you consume 2,000 calories a day. Drink no more than two cups of coffee a day, and it’s also helpful to eat a moderate amount of protein.
What can you do to prevent osteoporosis
You can eat a variety of healthy foods to prevent osteoporosis, consisting of several servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Eat foods rich in calcium such as low-fat dairy foods (milk, yogurt, cheese), dark green leafy vegetables, (kale, collards green, bok choy, broccoli), canned fish with bones (sardines, salmon), and fortified orange juice. If you are not getting the calcium you need in your diet, speak to your doctor about a calcium supplement. He will advise you on what to do.
Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and you can get vitamin D from the sunshine, fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, egg yolks, fish oil, and fortified milk. You may also need a vitamin D supplement to get the required amount of vitamin D. Your doctor can recommend the amount you will need.
Get plenty of exercises for your bones to get stronger such as walking, dancing, climbing stairs, and muscle strengthening exercise like lifting weights. According to research, any activity that gets you on your feet and moving for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week will increase your bone mass.
Quit smoking. Cigarettes can damage the bones and lowers the levels of estrogen, which helps with bone loss. It is also stated that women who smoke may absorb less calcium in their diets. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Too much alcohol can be bad for your bones and your overall health. Having more than a drink or two a day can interfere with the absorption of calcium in the bones.
Help prevent falls and fractures
Most broken bones occur with falls. You can help prevent fractures by doing everything necessary to prevent falls. Do physical activities to promote strength, balance, and flexibility. If you take medication, speak to your doctor or pharmacist to know medication that may make you drowsy, dizzy, or lower your blood pressure to prevent falls. Drink responsibly if you have to drink. Wear proper shoes for safety. Use nightlights at night and get rid of clutter in and around your home.
Most people can prevent osteoporosis by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but if you already have the disease, your doctor may recommend medications that will prevent bone loss. It’s good to have an ongoing communication with your doctor about your bone status throughout your life. Taking calcium and exercising will not stop osteoporosis. You will need to know and discuss your risk factors, and what you can do to prevent osteoporosis. Knowing your risk factors is the first step in taking an active role to prevent and treat the disease. If you have one or more risk factors, you should speak to your doctor about getting a Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test done to rule out osteoporosis.
Delores Powell: My passion is all about Health and wellness, Success, and to help others succeed as well. Would you like to start an online business and don’t know what to do? Click here to get started.