- Assisted Living »
- Home Care »
- Independent Living »
- Senior Care
- Providers »
<p">As we age, it is a natural fact of life that our cells lose some of their ability to regenerate as quickly as before. Since bones are a living tissue like skin or muscle, their process of being broken down and replaced begins to slow the older we get. When the creation of new bone material can’t keep up with the removal of old tissue, the result is known as osteoporosis.
53 million people currently have osteoporosis or are at high risk for developing it in the United States. Learning the risk factors involved and how you can prevent or treat osteoporosis can serve to lessen that number.
Typically, osteoporosis does not present symptoms until the condition’s effects have developed. The signs and symptoms of osteoporosis can generally be observed as:
In general, the loss of bone mass will happen very gradually over time. For people who have smaller frames or those who hadn’t accumulated much bone mass during their youth, osteoporosis can become a greater likelihood.
Osteoporosis can affect both men and women of all races, however, Caucasian and Asian women are at the highest risk.
Hormone changes after menopause also increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.
This condition has a tendency to run in families, so genetics are often responsible for a prevalence of osteoporosis. However, despite individual differences, the single most common and universal factor increasing the chance of developing osteoporosis is growing older.
Additionally, those who lead very sedentary lifestyles and who neglect eating a proper diet rich in calcium and other essential nutrients for bone health are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
Since traditional X-ray machines cannot measure the density of bone, more specialized techniques are required. The most common form is through something called DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) which is capable of detecting small percentages of bone loss. Because osteoporosis can occur in different portions of the body, there is a range of similar tests used for each specific area.
Depending on the severity of your osteoporosis, treatment options will be recommended to you accordingly.
Most treatments for osteoporosis are aimed at reducing your risk of breaking a bone either now or several years in the future. If you are not at an exceptionally high risk of osteoporosis-related fractures, then your treatments may focus on modifying the factors leading to your individual loss of bone mass. Additionally, you’ll be instructed on the proper ways to avoid falls or deal with these situations should they arise.
For those with a high risk of fractures, medications may be recommended to help replenish whatever bone mass possible. There is a likelihood that these medications will produce unpleasant side effects like nausea, abdominal pain, and heartburn if taken incorrectly, so be honest with your doctor about your past medical history and current medications. Common prescriptions include:
If you are a woman, doctors may suggest hormone-related therapy to replace bone matter by increasing your estrogen levels. Keep in mind that estrogen therapy can increase the risk of blood clots, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and heart disease in some cases.
Again, one of the best things to maintain regularly is a healthy, nutrient rich diet with the goal of increasing your bone density. Foods like salmon, dark leafy greens, potatoes, grapefruit, figs, and many more can help you build stronger bones in the most delicious way possible.
In general, getting enough vitamin D and calcium, exercising when possible, and seeking the appropriate medications through your doctor can keep your bones healthy and osteoporosis at bay.
Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone density and this means your bones, including your hips, can become extra fragile. Those with osteoporosis have a higher chance of injuries resulting in broken bones. Those with osteoporosis can break or fracture bones just by sneezing in some severe cases. If you are at risk of developing osteoporosis, contact your doctor to discuss which treatment options might be most appropriate for you.See All Answers »
Your mother and her doctor should discuss what physical activities she can participate in. It will likely be recommended that she should avoid high-impact sports and activities that twist the spine or require individuals to bend forward at the waist. Common exercises for people with osteoporosis include swimming, yoga, strength training, tai chi, and other endurance types of activities. In addition to regular exercise, diet is also quite important and can help one's bones to remain strong.See All Answers »