What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is not Inevitable
Osteoporosis is a condition deriving its name from “porous bones”. Bones thin and weaken with age or other medical conditions that cause afflicted patients easily break bones. Bones most susceptible to breakage are those of the spine, hips, and wrists. The curvature of the upper spine (Dowager’s Hump) and bone fractures are often the first signs of Osteoporosis.
The body replaces old bone cells with new bone cells contributing to a person’s growth. This remodeling process slows down in the late 20’s. Bone loss can occur as early as your 30’s, possibly leading to Osteoporosis later in life.
If you notice visible changes in stature or posture, discuss options with your doctor or another healthcare professional right away as the disease may already be advanced. A bone density scan is a test that can predict the likelihood of osteoporosis and what measure can be taken to minimize the disease’s progression.
Can Osteoporosis be Prevented?
While osteoporosis is sometimes genetic, there are steps that can be taken to minimize bone loss and strengthen your entire body. Some of these includes:
- Consuming a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
- Exercising as much possible, especially weight bearing exercises
- Minimizing or eliminating unhealthy habits such as excessive drinking or smoking
- Eliminate unnecessary medicines and drugs
Who Gets Osteoporosis?
In general, women have Osteoporosis more often than men simply due to their gender. Women’s bones are usually lighter than men’s. However, there are certain demographics that seem prevalent for developing Osteoporosis. Small framed women, women who had complete hysterectomies at a young age, Caucasian women, and Asian women tend to have Osteoporosis later on in life. Women also tend to lose bone in the first few years after menopause. Low testosterone levels in men and low estrogen levels in women contribute to the disease as well.
What Else Contributes to Osteoporosis?
Certain conditions or drugs can accelerate bone loss. Some of most common are:
- Kidney disease
- Cushing’s Syndrome
- Thyroid problems
- Eating disorders
- Anti-seizure drugs
While Osteoporosis is not 100% preventable, it is 100% treatable. Lifestyle changes and nutrition changes early on in life are the best ways to prevent the disease later in life. Seniors have the greatest risk of complications from bone fractures. Some seniors contract other illnesses such as pneumonia or blood clots from inactivity while recuperating. The elderly do not have the ability to ward off complications as well as a younger person.