Osteoporosis is a condition that makes the human bones thin making them porous and fragile. Any person can suffer from osteoporosis. Normally, aging is associated with this disease. Osteoporosis treatment is available and also the disease is preventable so don’t worry if you are a sufferer.
Osteoporosis is commonly known as a ‘silent disease.’ Many people don’t know they are suffering from the disease until it has fully matured. Often, they only realize when they have had a spine or hip fracture. Even worse, the pain from the fractures is chronic, and most of the time the disease can be detectable even without tests. Lack of osteoporosis treatment or awareness can lead to serious illness or even death.
Osteoporosis condition does not cause the back pain. However, it makes your spine weak where it cannot withstand a minor trauma and also the normal body weight making it susceptible to fracture.
As we have seen, Osteoporosis is a’ silent disease, ‘meaning you do not notice or feel anything until a fracture occurs. You should be conscious especially when you have a back ache. The chances are that you might have fractured vertebrae.
Symptoms of Compression Fracture
When a vertebrae fracture occurs, it comes along with the below symptoms.
- Sudden onset of chronic back pain.
- You feel increased pain when standing or walking
- The pain is reduced when you lie on your back.
- Limited spinal movement
- Disability and also deformity.
- Sudden height loss
Individuals over 50 years are more prone to compression fracture who complains of a sudden acute back pain. At times, who might not get any pain from a compression fracture or any other symptoms associated with the compression fracture. You need to be on the watch out especially when you notice that you are losing your height or sudden deformities.
Most patients diagnosed with compression fractures in the spine complain of back pain after doing simple activities such as lifting light luggage or simple bending.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Loss of bone density mainly causes osteoporosis. By the age of 30 years, an individual’s bone mass is already achieved. When peak bone mass reaches, remodeling process occurs – the process where old bone is removed, and new bone is laid down. When laying of the newborn is slower than taking of old bone, it results to a weak spine which is prone to osteoporosis.
The process of bone loss begins at the late thirties or early forties. Around that age, most women start their menopause and lose a certain amount of bone mass annually as follows
• Trabecular bone – This is the spongy bone located in the hard cortical bone. Studies show about 1% of this bone is lost annually.
• Cortical bone – This is the hard bone, and it is lost about 0.5% annually.
Estrogen plays a vital role in bone remodeling process and also maintaining bone strength. There are two types of cells involved in bone remodeling.
• Osteoclasts – Involved in bone eating
• Osteoblasts – Involved in bone forming
Without estrogen, osteoclasts cells are favored, and more bone is eaten up than the bone is laid down which results in weak and thin bones. There, women above the ages of forty years are more prone to osteoporosis due to the decrease of estrogen in their bodies.
With proper diagnosis, medical history, and physical examination, osteoporosis is treatable. With proper diet, exercise – if no fracture has occurred and us of medication. The main objective of osteoporosis treatment is to prevent fractures.
Right Diet for Osteoporosis treatment
A diet that has adequate calcium is important to help maintain strong bones. Studies show that 70% of calcium ends up having weak bones. Vitamin D is equally important as calcium. It facilitates the absorption and retention of calcium.
Below are the recommendations of calcium intake;
- Women in the age bracket of 25 years to fifty years should consume 1000 milligram of calcium a day. Also, they should include 400I.U of vitamin D. Pregnant women should consume a little bit more of calcium of about 1500 milligrams a day.
- Postmenopausal women who are below the ages of 65 years should consume 1500 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 800 i.u of vitamin D daily.
- Men of the ages 25 years to 65 years should consume 1000 milligrams per day.
- Men and women over the age of 65 years should consume 1500 milligrams a day.
Calcium is available in some of the food that we consume such as milk, cheese, yogurt, green vegetables, grains, fish and beans. Additionally, you can also get calcium and vitamin D supplements available in the medicine shops Always get the right doses from your doctor before starting off with your dose.
You can get your vitamin D from the sunshine, liver orange juice or fatty fats. Always remember that it is dangerous to take high doses of calcium that is above 2000 milligrams. It can cause kidney stones. Patients with cases of kidney stones should consult a doctor before taking them.
The best exercise for osteoporosis is weight bearing exercise. This exercise works when the patient is on their feet and works the body against gravity. The exercise is combined with muscle contraction to increase bone density in the spine. Patients should perform aerobics about three times a week to increase bone density.
Patients who have bone fracture should keep away from exercise so as to avoid more damage to the spine.
Medication to Slow bone loss
Medical experts advise frequent bone density testing for women above the age of 65 Years – testing should be done annually. A bone mineral density (BMD) is a test that helps show the bone density f an individual. If the test proves that your bone density is below than recommended, medications to slow bone loss should be prescribed.
Ways to Prevent Osteoporosis
Things you do every day can include a plan to build stronger bones. Factors like age, genes, and gender may increase your chances of getting this disease. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent or fight the illness, and they include;
Exercise Your Bones
A human body needs a lot of things to stay healthy and exercise is one of them. Just like muscles your bones get stronger with exercise. Workout forcing your body against gravity as you move considered the best. Weight bearing workouts such as aerobics, climbing stairs, jogging, walking/running, yoga and water therapy exercises are crucial in bone strengthening.
Visit an expert and get started on programs that strengthen and help your body. Strength training like lifting weights or using elastic-resistant bands are important in preventing osteoporosis. Your muscles hold your bones firm making you more flexible, and chances of damage are minimal.
Regular Intake of Vitamin D and Calcium
Calcium is an essential ingredient in the strengthening of the bones. When your body lacks calcium, it breaks down bones to get what it’s missing. It’s important to eat food with calcium, vitamins, and nutrients every day. Foods to help you prevent this condition include low-fat dairy foods, cereals, soya milk, salmon and deep colored fruits or vegetables.
Vitamin D is crucial in strengthening your bones. The skin naturally makes vitamin D when hit by sunlight, so spending some minutes Is helpful. Beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and fish are rich in vitamin D.
Quitting Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol has a lot of adverse effects on your body and research shows that taking two beers a day affects your bones in the long run. Smoking increases the chances of getting osteoporosis as it affects the estrogenic hormone.
Stress raises cortisol levels and if unchecked can cause bone loss. You can reduce your stress levels by indulging yourself in relaxing activities such as yoga, more sleep, meditation and talking to a counselor.
Who is at Risk for Osteoporosis
Studies show that a lot of women at the age of 40 to 50 are at a higher danger of developing this condition, but anyone including men can get this disease. These are the factors that determine who is at the risk of getting osteoporosis,
Age– Many people start losing bone mass approximately during their late thirties, this is more reason to exercise regularly, change unhealthy lifestyle, and star getting enough calcium. It’s important to keep your bones strong as age catches up with you.
Gender– Studies show that almost half of the women at the age of sixty are likely to get this disease. The condition is higher in women than men. Women have a high risk of getting osteoporosis because they are lighter, have thinner bones and have a longer lifespan. Men also get osteoporosis, but it’s not common.
Genetics and Ethnicity-If a close relative have signs of this condition, then you have chances of getting fractured hip or bone loss. Genetics may be a factor, but it’s not an assurance that you will inherit the disease. Ethnicity may also play a part in causing osteoporosis. Studies suggest that Asian and Caucasian women are more prone to developing osteoporosis than women from other ethnic backgrounds
Why Women have a Higher Chance of Developing Osteoporosis
This may not be fair, but women are at a higher risk of developing this disease than men. The reasons why women are at greater risk are;
- Women have lower bone mass than men and lose bone mass quicker as they age
- Women have a hormone that protects the bones and decreases quickly as they reach menopause causing bone loss.
Certain medication taken by women raise their odds of developing osteoporosis. Diseases like arthritis also boost the chances of women getting this disease.
The important thing is to understand your bone density by visiting a hospital and getting a test. Patients should take necessary steps in the proses of osteoporosis treatment.