Bones that becomes weak and brittle is caused by osteoporosis. It is dangerous even a fall or stress like when coughing will cause a fracture. It happens mostly in the hip, wrist and the spine. Osteoporosis affects men and women who are past menopausal stage and these individuals face a higher risk of acquiring osteoporosis. A healthy diet and regular exercise helps prevent bone loss or strengthen weak bones. If you want to learn how to manage injuries during falls, click here.
Symptoms of osteoporosis
There are no symptoms in the early stages of osteoporosis, but if the bones are weakened by osteoporosis, the individual will show signs and symptoms such as the following:
- There is loss of height over time
- A back pain that is caused by a fracture or a collapsed vertebra
- The posture of the person is stooping
- A bone fracture that happens easily
Bones are in an endless state of renewal since a new bone is made and older bones are broken down. When a body is young, it makes new bones at a faster rate and the bone mass is elevated. Individuals reach their highest bone mass in their early 20s. An individual who develop osteoporosis will depend on how much bone mass that he/she has in their youth age. The person with higher bone mass has less possibility of developing osteoporosis as they start to age.
Treatment of osteoporosis
- Avoid smoking because it will increase bone loss as well as decrease the amount of estrogen the body of the woman produces and reduces calcium absorption in the intestines.
- When an individual consumes more the one alcoholic drink a day, it causes a decrease in bone formation and the ability of the body to absorb calcium is reduced. The person under the influence of alcohol has a greater chance of falling.
- Checking the house for electrical cords, rugs and slippery surfaces that will cause a person to trip or fall and avoid wearing high-heeled shoes without nonslip soles.
Prevention of osteoporosis
There are three factors in keeping bones healthy – calcium, vitamin D and regular exercise.
Calcium – food and drinks that are good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, soy products like tofu, dark and green leafy vegetables and canned sardines with bones.
An individual can also take calcium supplements if it is difficult for him/her to get calcium from the diet. If the individual has too much calcium in the diet, it can cause heart problems and the formation of kidney stones.
Vitamin D – it is necessary for the proper calcium absorption of the body. Individuals can get adequate vitamin D from sunlight, but it is not good if he/she lives in elevated places like on top of the mountain and if the person is housebound, he/she can use sunscreen to avoid sun exposure because of the risk of acquiring skin cancer.
Exercise – it can help the individual build strong bones and slow down bone loss. The combination of strength and training exercises like walking, jogging, running, skipping rope, stair climbing and skiing is highly effective.