Did you know that over 10 million people aged 50 and above have osteoporosis?
First things first! Do you know what osteoporosis is?
Osteoporosis’s literal meaning is ‘bones with holes’ or ‘porous bones’. It means that your bone mass is less than the strength. It is the disease that silently deteriorates your bones’ health and brings you closer to the risk of fractures by losing nutrients such as minerals and calcium quicker than the body’s tendency of replacing them.
Mostly, people do not know that they have this disease unless they experience fractured bones because there are no apparent signs; they develop it without having pain or weak bones. Therefore, osteoporosis is also known as a ‘silent disease’.
What are the Causes of Osteoporosis?
While osteoporosis is a disease that is developed in bones, what causes it is still unknown. Our organs have a strong support of our bones which store calcium and minerals; when the body needs calcium, it breaks and remakes new bones. Till the age of 30, the human body makes more bones than it breaks but when you have osteoporosis, this process gets reversed, leading you to lose the bone mass at a higher rate.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Usually, there are no symptoms of osteoporosis. However, you must watch out if you experience the following changes in your body.
1. Loss of Height
Over time, osteoporosis causes you to lose your height as it compresses the vertebrae of the spine and weakens them. So, with time, the patient tends to get shorter with an inch or more.
2. Stooping or Bent Posture
This disease deteriorates your bones to spinal fractures and crumbling vertebrae that force your posture to stoop or bend over. This posture is known as Dowager’s Hump or Widow’s Hump that may cause serious back pain.
3. Bone Fractures
The reduction in bone density causes feeble bones that lead to unexpected fractures which are more painful than those you experience from falls.
Osteoporosis compresses your disks, which reduces lung capacity and leads to shortness of breath.
How to Prevent Osteoporosis?
There are many things beyond your control — such as your genes, your age, and your sex — that increase your odds for osteoporosis. But that doesn’t mean the disease cannot be prevented. Here are some of the things you can do every day that help you build strong bones.
1. Fix Your Eating Habits
If you do not consume enough calcium and vitamin D, you are more prone to suffer from osteoporosis. Absorb enough Vitamin D through sunlight as it serves as one of the best agents for strengthening your bones. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia may also put you at high risk.
2. Limit Tobacco and Alcohol Use
Tobacco consumption increases the chances for bone fractures, which ultimately impacts the growth of osteoporosis. Similarly, excessive consumption of alcohol weakens bone growth and doesn’t work well for your bones.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle
People who stay inactive and have a sedentary lifestyle have higher chances for osteoporosis. To avoid that, you can do strength-training activities or work out.
The Bottom Line
If you feel even mild symptoms of osteoporosis, you need to consult a doctor. It’s never too late to seek the treatment; however, delaying it may only worsen your bones’ condition. Better safe than sorry.