Signs of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that reduces the quality and density of bones. This condition leads to skeletal weakness; it also causes increased risk of fractures, of the upper arm, the hip, pelvis, wrist, and spine.  Bones become brittle and fragile and also lose their essential minerals e.g. calcium in the body faster than we can replace them.  Osteoporosis reduces the bone mass and the resulting thin; bones are easily fractured by minor bumps and falls.

Usually, the bone loss of affected individuals is gradual and doesn’t show any signs or symptoms till the disease is more advanced. Osteoporosis ‘silent disease’ is becoming a major global health issue, with 30-40 % of women and fifteen percent of men experiencing bone fractures during their lifetime. The disease is often referred to as a ‘silent epidemic’ as people continues to become old; osteoporosis becomes more and more prevalent.

Osteoporosis and its bone fractures contribute to morbidity and mortality in the older people. Bone fractures are very unpleasant and can seriously impact someone’s quality of life. Hip bone fractures are particularly very serious as they can lead to long-term hospitalization, acute pain, permanent disability and lost independence. Elderly people having hip fractures die from such related complications. Its essential; to know that osteoporosis isn’t just a “old people’s disease”. Also, young people having low bone density can suffer from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis in women can also start as early as 25 years.

Due to the lack of signs, it’s difficult to know if you are having osteoporosis. A fractured bone may be the first sign of the disease. Professional diagnosis can be noticed through a bone density scan. Some key risk factors that make people more prone to developing osteoporosis are:

  • Old females
  • Aged fifty years or older
  • Previous history of your bone fractures
  • Removed ovaries or early menopause
  • Low calcium level in the diet
  • Lack of exposure to natural light
  •  family history on osteoporosis
  • Post menopause
  • Low physical activity
  • Thin or ‘small-boned
  • Caucasian or Asian ancestry
  • Regular alcohol consumption
  • Smoker

This disease can be prevented. There are several steps that one can be taken to limit the possibility of getting osteoporosis. Having a well balanced meal rich in calcium is important. Inclusion of dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese and milk, are of benefit to your health and helps a lot in preventing oestoporosis. Adults who are over the age of 50 require 1000 mg of calcium daily to increase their bone mass and reduce the possibility of having bone fractures. It’s important to maintain supply of vitamin D, as this helps to absorb calcium. This can be simply achieved by just spending at least 30 minutes in sunlight each day.  In addition, it is important to avoid times of the day where by the sun is most intense because the UV rays might affect your skin.

At least thirty minutes of physical activity is important to the body. Exercises that strengthen body muscles against gravity will help you have strong bones. These activities include playing golf or tennis, dancing, walking, and low-impact aerobics. Do not smoke and learn to limit your alcohol intake.

International Osteoporosis Foundation found out that, this disease affects more than two million women in the world and an osteoporosis fracture is figured out to occur every 3 seconds.

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