Osteoporosis a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D. It is a disease where decreased bone strength increases the risk of a broken bone. It is most common in older adults, particularly postmenopausal women, and in patients who take steroids or steroidal drugs. It is the most common reason for a broken bone among the elderly. Bones that commonly break include the back bones, the bones of the forearm, and the hip. Until a broken bone occurs there are typically no symptoms.
The bones in your body are the most important structure in your body, but there are millions of people that don’t pay enough attention to this area. Millions of people suffer from bone loss and a decreased bone density, which leads to a large number of people suffering from osteoporosis. For the most part, though these people have no clue they are suffering from bone loss or the beginning stages. The only reason people find out is by getting hurt or having a bone broken. Then it becomes apparent that their bones are fragile and not as strong as they should be.
Causes of Bone Loss
There are a few different reasons why someone would develop osteoporosis but perhaps the most common reason is due to a lack of certain hormones. Androgen is what is missing in men and estrogen is what is missing in women.
A few other causes might include:
- Deficiency in Vitamin D
- Lack of calcium in the body
- Bone cancer
- Not enough exercise
- Thyroid problems
- Steroid use
- Genetic disorders
Calcium helps to keep your bones strong and Vitamin D can help absorb calcium properly leading to stronger bones as well.
Symptoms of osteoporosis
In the early course of the disease, there might be no symptoms of osteoporosis in women but gradually a dull pain in the bones or muscles may occur especially low back pain or neck pain. In the later course of the disease, dull pains may take the form of sharp pains which may appear all of a sudden. The pain may not spread into other areas, but it may become worse by activity that goes on to put on weight in the affected area usually accompanied by tenderness. It begins to subside within a week while the pain may cling on for more than three months.
A very disturbing fact is that women suffering from osteoporosis may not even recall or remember if they had a fall or other trauma that has led to a broken bone, especially in the foot or spine. Compressor fractures in the spinal cord may result in the loss of height along with a stooping posture.
DietThere are a few different things that you can do to help prevent bone loss as well as the onset of osteoporosis. One place to start is with your diet. You already know how important it is to follow a well-balanced diet and while it helps with weight, heart health, keeping cholesterol lowered and keeping your blood pressure controlled, it also helps to promote healthy bones.
You’ll want to eat foods that are green and leafy as well as skim milk and other dairy products. These are great sources of calcium that can help strengthen your bones. You’ll also want to consider adding tuna, canned sardines, and salmon to your diet. These foods are high in proteins as well as calcium. You want to incorporate Vitamin K as well which can come from green leafy vegetables.
Of course, you can’t eat healthy foods alone. Exercise is an important aspect of living a healthier lifestyle. Exercise is healthy for you no matter how old you are. However, you want to make sure you are doing the right ones. If you already have knee problems, for example, you probably aren’t going to want to go out and run a mile. In fact, running can be a bit harsh on the knees to begin with, so walking is just as beneficial. Exercising regularly helps increase your mood, stamina levels and can help prevent osteoporosis.
Living a healthy lifestyle helps you feel better overall. If you smoke, you already know that it’s bad for you, so quit while you are ahead. The same goes for drinking alcohol. While it’s ok to have some now and then, drinking heavily never does any good.
These tips are sure to help you feel better and look better while allowing your bones to become strong and healthy as well.