Osteoporosis means weak or brittle bones. Our bones undergo a gradual renewal process over the years. When we are young this decay and regeneration process goes faster and the lost amount of bone gets cover up faster than the breaking down process through new bone buildup. So, at the age of 30 our bone mass density remains at the peak. But gradually the speed of regeneration slows down but the bone mass loss continues hence gradually the bones become weak and brittle. In this line if the bone mass density becomes too low then it is medically termed as osteoporosis. In this condition our bones can get fractured very easily along with causing other physical problems.
The visible symptoms of osteoporosis aren’t many. Our loved seniors even may not realize that they have osteoporosis until they get fractured and then tested. However, early signs can be noticed in the form of back pain and changes in the posture. Another symptom of osteoporosis that occurs much later in the development is decreased height.
Declining age is the main cause of osteoporosis. In the senior years the speed of bone breakdown far exceeds the speed of new bone buildup. This is the reason for which the bone mass density decreases significantly and causes osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is more prevalent in women than in men. It is often considered as a ‘women's disease’. This is because the bone density of women are lesser than men and after menopause the bone loss occurs much faster in women. That’s why around 80% of people suffering from osteoporosis in America are women.
There are some risk factors for osteoporosis that you can control and there are some that you can’t. Among the risk factors that you can’t control are age, sex, ethnicity and heredity. Another such uncontrollable risk factor is having a small bodily frame. Whites and Asians are seen to get osteoporosis more than the seniors of other racial descent. Apart from these some other health condition like type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and some hormonal disorders can also be risk factors for developing osteoporosis.
And the risk factors that you can control mostly belongs to the way you lead your life. Smoking, leading an inactive life, following an irregular diet containing low amount of calcium and vitamin D, excessive drinking all these can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis through increasing the amount of bone loss as you age.
There are multiple treatment options available in case your senior loved ones are diagnosed with osteoporosis. First option is to prescribe bone boosting drugs containing bisphosphonate. This will help decrease the bone loss and build new bone mass. Bisphosphonates can be taken either by mouth or through injections but comes with some significant kinds of side effects.
Other treatment options include hormone therapy and antibody injection. But all these alternatives have their own share of unavoidable side effects.
So, in such condition the best possible option would be to remain aware of it from the very early childhood so that you can maintain the healthy amount of calcium and vitamin D from the very beginning up to the age of 30. This way your bone bank will be full and the gradual bone loss will never reach the point where it can be diagnosed as osteoporosis.
Bone Building Foods
Foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D are the bone building foods. Milk is the first priority. Then you can have fish like salmon, tuna, herring etc. You have to add some leafy green vegetables into your diet. Vegetables also provide magnesium that improves the bone quality. Another such calcium fortified foods are cereals and orange juice. Whereas, it is always a good idea to avoid foods that decrease the absorption of calcium in the body.
The importance of exercise in case of osteoporosis management, treatment and prevention is essential. Exercise keeps the bones in good condition and helps the treatment process of building new and strong bones.
Exercises that involves bearing your whole body weight are the most favorable. Exercises like walking, jogging, running, playing tennis etc. Using small weights while exercising the various body parts also help in this regard. Research have found that women who walk one mile every day have four to seven years of added bone reserve.
Yoga, tai-chi can be a great way to improve balance but some postures involving too much bend or stretch should be carefully avoided in such situations.
While living with osteoporosis even a bit of pressure on the bones can cause fracture. In severe cases there are records of getting fractured just by coughing. So, whenever your loved one is diagnosed with osteoporosis the first thing that you should do is to make the surroundings totally fall proof. Contact Comfort Keepers Silicon Valley we have proven techniques and methods for fall prevention.
Always remember that it is never too late to care for your bones. No matter at whatever age you are right now, start right away!
Start having the right amount of healthy diet, have regular physical exercise- as much as you can- even if you can just walk with the help of a walker then do that, and avoid the negative habits that are active risk factors for osteoporosis. This way you can very well live a healthy, happy and independent life in your senior years with osteoporosis.