Osteoporosis is a very common problem in all. It is a bone disease in which bones become weak and are more likely to break. Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races especially older women (white and Asian women) who are past menopause. They are at the highest risk. Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 9 million fractures annually. It means in every 3 seconds an osteoporotic fracture happening. Osteoporosis is estimated to affect 200 million women worldwide; approximately one-tenth of women aged 60, one-fifth of women aged 70, two-fifths of women aged 80, two-thirds of women aged 90 and 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will 1 in 5 men aged over 50 worldwide. Approximately, forearm fracture (80%), humerus fracture (75%), hip fracture (70%) and spine fracture (58%) occur in women. Overall, 61% of osteoporotic fractures occur in women, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.6. By 2050, the worldwide incidence of hip fracture in men is projected to increase by 310% and 240% in women, compared to rates in 1990. Broken bones cause serious health problems and disability in old age. You should start prevention when you are younger, no matter your age, you can take steps to build bone mass and prevent bone loss.
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What are the reasons why women are more likely to get osteoporosis than men?
- Women tend to have smaller, thinner and less dense bones than men.
- Women often live longer than men. Bone loss happens naturally as we age.
- Estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. This is why the chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause.
Two major factors that affect your chance of getting osteoporosis are:
- The amount of bone you have when you reach menopause. The greater your bone density is to begin with, the lower your chance of developing osteoporosis. If you had low peak bone mass or other risk factors that caused you to lose bone, your chance of getting osteoporosis is greater.
- How fast you lose bone after you reach menopause. For some women, bone loss happens faster than for others. In fact, a woman can lose up to 20% of her bone density during the five-seven years following menopause. If you lose bone quickly, you have a greater chance of developing osteoporosis. Bone loss is the amount of minerals, such as calcium, that your body absorbs (takes) from your bones.
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Symptoms of Osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis develops slowly and may not be found until a bone fracture even in a minor incidents. Sometime even a cough or sneeze can cause a break in osteoporotic bones. Typically are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss but once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you might have signs and symptoms that include:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Height loss
- A stooped posture
- A bone that breaks much more easily than expected
- Hunched posture
Causes of Osteoporosis:
Bone loss is the main cause of Osteoporosis. Our body continually absorbs old bone tissue and generates new bone to maintain bone density, strength, and structural integrity. In young age, our body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone and our bone mass increases. Bone density peaks when a person is in their late 20s, and it starts to weaken at around 35 years of age. As people age, bone mass is lost faster than it’s created. Osteoporosis may develop if this breakdown occurs excessively. Peak bone mass is somewhat inherited and varies also by ethnic group. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “in the bank” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.
In women, the reason for bone loss is very low levels of the hormone estrogen. The most common cause of low estrogen levels is menopause. After menopause, ovaries make very little estrogen.
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How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
To diagnose Osteoporosis, the doctor advises a Bone Density Test. This test report will show how strong or weak your bones are. WHO Definitions of Osteoporosis Based on Bone Density Levels:
Normal: Bone density is within 1 SD (+1 or -1) of the young adult mean.
Low bone mass (Osteopenia): Bone density is 1 to 2.5 SDs below the young adult mean (-1 to -2.5 SD).
Osteoporosis: Bone density is 2.5 SDs or more below the young adult mean (less than -2.5 SD).
Severe (established) osteoporosis: Bone density is more than 2.5 SDs below the young adult mean and one or more broken bones (osteoporotic fractures) has occurred.
One more common test is there; central dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). A DXA is a special type of x-ray of your bones. This test uses a very low amount of radiation.
Prevention from Osteoporosis:
The best way to prevent from Osteoporosis is to take care of your bones while you are young especially female. Building strong bones during childhood and the teen years is important to help prevent osteoporosis later. Good nutrition and regular exercise are essential for keeping your bones healthy throughout your life. For strong bones, you should follow the below things:
- Take enough calcium every day. Men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. This daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70.
- Take Vitamin D also every day. It plays a key role in preventing osteoporosis as it helps the body absorb calcium. People can get some of their vitamin D from sunlight. It’s recommended that adults ages 51 to 70 get 600 international units (IU) and 800 IU a day after age 70 through food or supplements.
- Protein is one of the building blocks of bone. You can get protein from soy, nuts, legumes, seeds, eggs, chicken, etc.
- Your daily physical activity like running, dancing, weight-bearing physical activities, etc. will also help to build the strong bones.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking and alcohol raise your risk for broken bones.
- Do exercises and yoga to promote flexibility and balance.
Osteoporosis is a common problem. Although there is a treatment of osteoporosis but if you start preventing of your bones from the young age, Osteoporosis will not come to you. It is highly advisable to women to take care of yourselves from the beginning otherwise it will enter in your life very silently. Our daily lifestyle changed our food habit and this is also the main cause of all the diseases. If you do not want to depend on others, you need to take care of yourselves; you need to take a proper food diet; you need to do daily exercise and you need to live a happy life.