Is osteoporosis not a normal part of being older? Due to its lack of early indications and symptoms, osteoporosis, or weakening of the bones, is referred to as a “silent illness.” When a bone breaks or fractures in a fall, accident, or even something as simple as sneezing or bumping into furniture, many people with this illness are unaware that they have it.
The risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture is higher than the odds of breast cancer, heart attack, and stroke combined, according to Dr. Corinne Ancona-Young, a family medicine specialist with Sharp Community Medical Group.
Due to their smaller stature and less dense bones, women are more susceptible to osteoporosis than men. According to this condition, up to 25% of males and up to 50% of women over the age of 50 will break a bone in their lives.
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Osteoporosis Is Not A Normal Aspect Of Becoming Older
Henson emphasizes that osteoporosis is not a normal aspect of aging even though more than 54 million Americans have the disease. It is a metabolic imbalance involving estrogen, testosterone, and a bone metabolism enzyme.
Among the causes of osteoporosis are:
- Menopause, particularly in younger women who have been surgically induced menopause
- Family background
- Lack of calcium and vitamin D
- Absence of physical activity, particularly weight-bearing exercise
- An eating disorder history
- Nicotine use
An increased risk of osteoporosis is linked to many health issues and treatments, including:
- Autoimmune conditions
- Stomach and intestine procedures
- Neurological conditions
- Unsound nutrition
- Significant decrease in weight
Problems Caused By Osteoporosis
When an older adult has a fracture or bone break, osteoporosis can have serious side effects. The initial indication of osteoporosis is frequently a fracture of the hip, wrist, or spine. Compression fractures of the spine, particularly those of the mid-spine or thoracic spine, are the most frequent initial fractures. The disease’s impact on the vertebrae alters the bone’s structure and causes a hunched or stooped posture.
This illness can impair mobility, which can produce feelings of loneliness and melancholy. Adults who fear a future fall may experience anxiety in the event of a bone break or fracture.
Young people who exercise regularly and consume a proper amount of calcium each day develop strong bones. In later life, exercise is still crucial for maintaining bone density and supporting overall health. Regular exercise not only helps preserve bone density but also helps build muscle. Older persons can maintain healthy bone density by engaging in weight-bearing or resistance exercise for 30 minutes, two to three times per week.
Vitamins C, D, and K, calcium, magnesium, and potassium can all aid in osteoporosis prevention. Numerous foods and dairy products naturally include these vitamins and minerals, as do some fortified goods including orange juice, almond milk, and oat milk. Fish, some fruits, tomatoes, peppers, dark green leafy vegetables (particularly broccoli and kale), and some fish also contain calcium.
Henson encourages those who wish to take a calcium supplement not to take more than 600 mg at once and to pick a supplement that contains calcium citrate.
Identifying And Treating Osteoporosis
A bone density test is the best approach to determining osteoporosis risk. Henson emphasizes that diagnosis and management is a services that can save lives. She will also have further lab tests to assess her calcium metabolism, bone strength, and function in addition to reviewing the results of the bone density test. She also looks at the patient’s family history of osteoporosis and other diseases connected to the condition.
In addition to age-related bone loss, evidence indicates that pregnancy and lactation might cause a brief decrease in bone density, particularly in women who do not ingest 1,200–1,400 milligrams of calcium daily in their diet. Healthy eating is an excellent way to avoid osteoporosis and might be your first line of defense.
Osteoporosis treatment involves stopping bone loss and regenerating bone to avoid fractures. Exercise is one of the key methods for achieving this. Osteo-Circuit, an exercise-based treatment program offered by Sharp Grossmont Hospital, is created for both men and women who have osteoporosis or low bone density.
Osteoporosis is frequently preventable, curable, and even reversible. If you or a loved one should undergo a bone density test, discuss this with your doctor.