Information on Osteoporosis You Need!
Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disorder resulting in bone thinning and weakening and a decrease in the bone mass and density, making them much more susceptible to breaks and fractures.
When you are young your body makes more new bone than it takes away in old bone. Your body's ability to handle this process changes with age, so that by the time you are about 35 there is less bone building than there is bone removal.
The fluctuating estrogen levels that happen during menopause affect the process of calcium absorption into the bones. All women will experience acceleration in bone density reduction as their estrogen levels drop.
Osteoporosis is perhaps the most serious symptom of menopause because it can lead to severe health problems such as chronic back pain and broken bones. Not only does osteoporosis threaten a woman´s physical health, but the disease can come on slowly and go unrecognized until a bone is broken.
About 33% of women over 50 will experience bone fractures as a result of osteoporosis. The fluctuating estrogen levels that precede menopause and the permanently low hormonal levels of post-menopause are one of the most common osteoporosis causes.
The recommended calcium intake for women over 50 years of age is 1,200 mg. The foods highest in calcium are most dairy products, soy/rice milk, Chinese cabbage, dried figs, cooked greens, varieties of fish, soy nuts.
Common Indications of Osteoporosis
- Loss of height as a result of weakened spine.
- Fractured bones, especially hip bones.
- Bone pain and tenderness.
- Neck, spine, and lower back pain.
- Broken bones, brittle fingernails.
- Periodontal disease, tooth loss.
Spinal deformities become evident like stooped posture, an outward curve at the top of the spine as a result of developing a vertebral collapse on the back.
Uncontrollable Osteoporosis Risk Factors
- Age – Osteoporosis becomes far more common as people age, especially once they surpass age 50.
- Sex – Osteoporosis is more common in women than men due to their fluctuating estrogen levels during menopause. Women who are post-menopausal are even more susceptible because of diminished amounts of hormones that are necessary for regenerating bone.
- Family History – Research suggests that heredity and genetics play a major role in osteoporosis. The children of parents who have osteoporosis have a greater chance of getting the disease.
- Race and Ethnicity – While osteoporosis affects all races and ethnicities, people who are Caucasian or of Asian or Latino descent are more likely to develop osteoporosis than those of African heritage.
- History of Broken Bones – People who have broken one or more bones during their adult years are at greater risk for osteoporosis and, in fact, may already have low bone density or osteoporosis.
- Diseases and Conditions – Here are some diseases and conditions that put a person with one or more of them at greater risk of developing osteoporosis: premature menopause, blood and bone marrow disorders, eating disorders, gastrectomy, gastrointestinal bypass procedures, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, severe liver disease, spinal cord injuries, and stroke.
Controllable Osteoporosis Risk Factors
- Inactive Lifestyle – People who are bedridden, are inactive or do not exercise are at high risk of osteoporosis.
- Smoking – is bad for bones in many ways. For women, smoking can prevent estrogen from protecting the bones.
- Alcohol Abuse – Drinking heavily can reduce bone formation. In many cases, people who drink too much do much do not get enough calcium. Drinking may also affect the body's calcium supply.
Other Osteoporosis Causes
Researchers agree that the primary cause of osteoporosis in women as they surpass age 50 is fluctuating estrogen levels; however, there are other causes that need to be explored in order to have a comprehensive understanding of this serious bone disease. Other causes of osteoporosis include the following:
- Medications Certain medications can reduce your bones´ ability to rebuild themselves. Some of these medications are glucocorticoid medications, prednisolone, excess thyroid hormone replacement, the blood thinner heparin, and certain anti-convulsant medications.
- Insufficient Bone Growth as a Youth – Bones that didn´t get enough calcium early in life have a higher likelihood of becoming osteoporotic and fracturing as estrogen levels begin to decrease.
- Genetic Factors – If a woman´s family members, especially her mother, have suffered from osteoporosis, the likelihood that she will develop the disease jumps dramatically. Genetics also helps determine the body type of a woman. If she inherited a small, thin body type, she is predisposed to osteoporosis.
Tips to Prevent Osteoporosis
The best way to avoid the painful and debilitating bone fractures that come with osteoporosis is to prevent the disease before it takes hold. Of course, going back in time to the teenage years when bone growth is most crucial is not a possibility. However, there are still ways to increase bone mass, or at least limit the rapid destruction of bones common in menopausal women, before osteoporosis becomes a problem. Below is a list of prevention tips:
- Eat enough calcium.
- Make sure to get enough vitamin D.
- Get adequate physical exercise.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Avoid smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight.
Treatments For Osteoporosis
- When exploring treatments for osteoporosis, it’s important to begin with methods that have the least likelihood of side effects, and progress from there.
- This means that lifestyle changes. Simple lifestyle changes that can reduce the likelihood of osteoporosis is eating a diet rich in calcium and exercising to build bone strength.
- Typically, combining lifestyle changes and alternative medicines will produce the best results. Alternative medicines can be different herbs and supplements, namely calcium supplements. When seeking out alternative medicines, keep in mind that because osteoporosis during menopause is associated with hormonal imbalance, look for substances that bring a natural balance to fluctuating estrogen levels, for this will go a long way to treating preventing osteoporosis at the core of the issue. An excellent topical natural balancing cream can be found at IH Distribution LLC.
- Finally, if osteoporosis is found to be extremely severe, there are different drugs and surgeries that can be explored. Drugs, including hormonal replacement therapy, are often prescribed as a last resort because of the potential side effects and inherent risks.