Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, which can lead to increased risk of fracture.
Bones stop growing by the age of 16-18, but its density still increases up until late 20’s. Bone mass decreases after 35 years of age, and bone loss occurs more rapidly in women after menopause.
There are many people who are at the risk of having osteoporosis. You are more at risk if:
- You are underweight.
- You have had an eating disorder.
- You are or have been a heavy drinker.
- You are or have been a smoker.
- You are bedridden due to medical conditions.
- You have a medical condition such as Coeliac or Crohn’s disease.
- You are female and have had an early menopause.
- You are a female and have had a hysterectomy.
- You are immobile for a long time due to medical conditions.
Once bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may have signs and symptoms that include:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured vertebra.
- Loss of height
- A stooped posture
Visit the local doctor (GP) if you have the signs of osteoporosis.
Types of Osteoporosis-
There are four different types of the bone diseases:
- Primary Osteoporosis:
Postmenopausal women are susceptible to primary osteoporosis since it is closely related to estrogen deficiency. During the menopausal period, the estrogen leads to more bone resorption than formation resulting in osteoporosis. In women, this is usually between the ages of 45 to 55. The production of testosterone in men slows down between the ages of 45 to 55. Usually, people are not affected by Osteoporosis until they are 60 years old and over, however, women are affected at an earlier age than men due to a lower bone mass.
- Secondary Osteoporosis:
It is less common than primary osteoporosis. It is caused by certain medical conditions or treatment that interferes with the growth of peak bone mass and may cause bone loss. Some of the medications include high-dose inhaled corticosteroids, high dose of thyroid replacement, which is used to treat breast cancer.
- Osteogenesis Imperfecta:
Osteogenesis imperfect is a genetic disorder that causes a person’s bones to break easily, often from little or no apparent reason.
- Idiopathic Juvenile Osteoporosis:
This rare disease of Idiopathic Juvenile occurs to the children between the ages 8 to 14 years. It is not known why children have excessive bone loss or too little bone formation.
- Osteoporosis prevention:
A healthy balanced diet is good for preventing a number of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. Calcium and Vitamin D, both are extremely important to have in your diet. These two nutrients are needed to form strong bones.
Foods that contain high amounts of calcium are-
- Leafy green vegetables
- Dried fruit
- Tofu etc.
Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the body.
Vitamin D can be found in-
- Nuts and seed
- Oily fish
- Egg yolks
- Soya Milk
- If you are an older adult you can get a Vitamin D injection or supplement tablets to ensure you get your daily amount.
Exercises such as cycling, jogging, and walking will make a huge difference in improving your bone density and preventing osteoporosis. But you may need to avoid high-impact weight-bearing exercises.
Low-impact weight-bearing exercises such as using stair-step machines; fast-walking on a treadmill and doing low-impact aerobics can also help keep bones strong.
Resistance exercises to work all of your muscle groups are also important. Working your muscle twice a week will keep your bones and muscles strong.
You can do resistance exercises at home or at the gym. At home, you can do press-ups, sit-ups and kettlebell exercises.