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Understanding Osteoporosis

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What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is presented by a loss of mass in the bones. The word Osteoporosis actually means “porous bones” and is characterized by a decrease in bone density. Osteoporosis results in a drastically higher risk of bone break and fracture.

What are the symptoms of Osteoporosis?

Early stages of Osteoporosis typically go undetected as there can be no outwardly noticeable symptoms. It is a silent epidemic that effects a large percentage of women (specifically over the age of 50). The bone disorder is usually detected after a broken bone is treated. Osteoporosis may limit mobility and effect the vertebrae resulting in a curved spine and hunched posture.

Who is commonly effected by Osteoporosis?

There are a number of common factors that lead to a higher risk of Osteoporosis.

Age – It is more common to suffer from Osteoporosis as you get older. Women tend to be effected at a higher rate than men. Women are also at an increased risk of broken bones (commonly a hip).

Menopause – Women’s bones are protected by the estrogen that their ovaries produce. The sudden decrease of estrogen due to menopause can result in bone loss.

Family history – Genetics have been shown to impact the likelihood of suffering from Osteoporosis.

There are also many other health problems and medical conditions that can increase the risk of Osteoporosis. For more information, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s website: www.nof.org.

What can I do to decrease my risk of developing Osteoporosis?

Get enough Vitamin D and Calcium on a daily basis. The NOF (National Osteoporosis Foundation) recommends that women under the age of 50 take in 1,000 mg of calcium and 400-800 IU (international units) of vitamin D every day. Women over the age of 50 should get 1,200 mg of calcium and 800-1,000 IU of vitamin D.

Diet has a major effect on bone health. A diet that consists of a high amount of protein, too much caffeine, and too much sodium can result in the loss of calcium your bones absorb. Balancing your diet with a higher amount of fruits and vegetables is vital to bone health. Your body needs to absorb enough vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and calcium to ensure good bone health.

Limit what negatively impacts your overall health. Smoking and a high consumption of alcohol can negatively impact your bone health.

Focus on physical activity. Losing weight (while maintaining a healthy diet) is beneficial for bone health. Focusing on exercises that strengthen your bones is the most beneficial overall. 


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