- Osteoporosis weakens bones, increases fractures, and chronic pain.
- Changes in posture and body shape can occur as the disease progresses.
- Fractures and changes to body shape can impact mobility and independence.
- Tooth loss is linked to osteoporosis, especially in aging people.
- Calcium, vitamin D, exercise, bone density tests, and doctor consultations can help prevent or manage the disease.
Osteoporosis is a disease that progressively weakens the bones, making them more fragile and prone to fractures. Unfortunately, this disease is much more common than people realize, affecting roughly 200 million people worldwide.
Women are particularly at risk, with postmenopausal women being most commonly affected. However, men and women of all ages can develop osteoporosis, which can have severe consequences for their bodies. Here’s what you need to know about osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
The skeletal system is an integral part of the human body, providing structure and strength to the body. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become unusually porous and fragile due to low bone mass. This means that the bones cannot support their weight as well as they usually would, increasing the risk of fractures. As bones weaken over time, it can lead to severe pain and
Increased Risk of Fractures
Osteoporosis weakens the bones, making them more susceptible to fractures. This means that even a simple fall or bump can result in a fracture. Fractures can occur in any bone, but the most common areas affected are the hip, spine, and wrist. Fractures in these areas can result in significant pain, decreased mobility, and even disability. In severe cases, fractures can even result in death.
Changes in Posture and Body Shape
As osteoporosis progresses, it can cause changes in posture and body shape. This is because the disease causes the bones to lose density and strength, making them more susceptible to compression fractures. Compression fractures can cause the spine to bend forward, resulting in a hunched posture. This can be unsightly and lead to chronic pain and difficulty breathing due to decreased lung capacity.
Decreased Mobility and Independence
Fractures and changes in posture can significantly impact mobility and independence. As osteoporosis progresses, performing even simple tasks can become increasingly challenging. Osteoporosis-related fractures can limit walking and make it challenging to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing or dressing. This can lead to decreased independence and a decreased quality of life.
Osteoporosis-related fractures can result in chronic pain that can be debilitating. This pain can make it challenging to perform simple tasks and significantly impact your quality of life. Chronic pain can also lead to depression and anxiety, further impacting your health.
Studies have linked osteoporosis to tooth loss, especially for aging people. This is because the bone supporting the teeth can weaken, resulting in loose and missing teeth. Health professionals suggest getting dental services if tooth loss gets worse. Getting robust dental implants is an excellent option to avoid complications such as oral cancer. It can protect your gums from further damage and give you a permanent solution for your teeth.
Increased Risk of Mortality
Finally, osteoporosis can increase the risk of mortality. This is especially true for hip fractures, which can significantly impact independence and mobility. In some cases, hip fractures can even result in death. Preventing osteoporosis and managing the disease is crucial to ensure a long and healthy life.
Ways to Avoid Osteoporosis
There are several steps you can take to prevent osteoporosis. Here are some of those ways:
Incorporate Calcium and Vitamin D in Your Diet:
Most adults’ recommended daily intake is 1000-1200 milligrams of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D daily. This is achievable by consuming dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt and food products fortified with vitamin D, such as orange juice, egg yolks, and cereals. Supplements are also a good source of calcium and vitamin D.
Regular exercise is essential for strengthening muscles and bones. A few different forms of exercise are especially beneficial for bone health, including weight-bearing exercises like walking, jogging, and dancing. It is best for adults aged 65 and above to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
Keep an Eye on Your Lifestyle
Lifestyle factors like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and caffeine intake can weaken the bones over time. Quitting smoking, lowering alcohol and caffeine consumption, and reducing stress levels go a long way in promoting bone health.
Regular Bone Density Tests
Bone density tests detect Osteoporosis in its early stages. They identify the rate of bone loss and the likelihood of bone fractures. Generally, women aged 65 and older and men aged 70 and older should get bone density tests every two years.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re concerned about Osteoporosis, speak with a healthcare provider. They can recommend diets, exercise routines, and supplements that work best for you. They can also prescribe medication to prevent or treat the disease.
Osteoporosis is a serious disease that can have severe consequences for your body. However, with the right lifestyle and habits, you can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis or manage it if you already have it. Make sure to speak with a healthcare provider regularly and incorporate bone-strengthening exercises into your everyday routine to keep your bones healthy and strong.