[Ilovemyshape.com] Osteoporosis, associated with the elderly, is a painful condition. Though not life-threatening, it can be debilitating if not treated. Bad posture and broken bones are hard to remedy.
If your doctor has diagnosed you with the disease, you will want to know what its causes are. Of course, Osteoporosis symptoms and preventions will be at the top of your mind. I Love My Shape provides a detailed explanation of the disease.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis, translated from Greek, means porous bones. The word suggests that people who have the disease have bones which are soft and fragile. Osteoporosis is progressive, and there are no symptoms until a person suffers his or her first fracture.
There are many types of osteoporosis. This disease is most common among the elderly, but young people can suffer from it as well. Children may experience juvenile osteoporosis while women may develop it before the onset of menopause. A patient’s bones may be so fragile that they break as soon as he sneezes. Difficulty engaging in activities and chronic pain usually follow.
Osteoporosis sets in because of the loss of bone density. Bones develop as a person grows, and are at their strongest when a person is in his 20s. They start to lose their density when he reaches his thirties. This ailment strikes anyone, but some people are more prone to it than others.
Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis than men. Estrogen, the female hormone, keeps bones healthy. Their density decreases when menopause sets in. Men are less likely to have the disease because they continue to produce testosterone, the bone-strengthening male hormone, as they age.
Osteoporosis is also common among people who have hormonal disorders. Those with Cushing’s disease, pituitary disorders or hypothyroidism may have to deal with osteoporosis later in life. It is likely to occur if a patient’s family member has it, or has suffered from hip fractures.
Osteoporosis Symptoms, Treatments And Preventions
If your risk for developing osteoporosis is high, you will be interested in its signs. You will also want to know what remedies are available. Here is a list of osteoporosis symptoms and treatments.
1. Common Osteoporosis Symptoms
The symptoms of osteoporosis do not show when it is in its early stages, but they will as your bone loss progresses. If you notice these signs, the loss may be quite severe. You may need to schedule a bone density test with your doctor.
Does your back always ache? You will have back pains if you have a low bone mass. They are a clear sign that some of your bones have already shattered. The aches are due to a collapsed or broken vertebra.
Loss of height
Take a look at yourself in the mirror. If you seem shorter than usual, you may be losing bone density. Check your height and schedule a doctor’s appointment if it has dropped.
One of the obvious symptoms of osteoporosis is a stooped posture. Patients with osteoporosis usually appear hunched because their vertebra has lost its structure. They will have difficulty standing straight or lifting their shoulders.
Your bones may break more easily than expected if you have osteoporosis. If you sustain a fracture after laughing or lifting a few objects, do seek a physician’s help.
2. Osteoporosis Treatments
It will relieve you to know that there is a host of drugs that increase bone density. They slow down your bone loss or regenerate new cells. Note that you should take them according to your doctor’s instructions, or they may cause ulcers.
5 Medications For Osteoporosis
1. Boniva, Actonel, Binosto, and Fosomax
This class of medications blocks the cells that disintegrate bones, thereby slowing bone loss. Actonel, Fosomax, and Binosto are weekly medications, while Boniva is a monthly drug.
Another medication is Reclast, also slows bone loss. Doctors give it via a 15-minute vein infusion. It strengthens bones and prevents hip fractures.
Evista, which regulates bone mass, works like the hormone Estrogen. An advantage that it has over estrogen is that it does not cause uterine or breast cancers.
Doctors give Forteo to men and women with a high propensity for developing fractures. This synthetic, parathyroid hormone builds bones effectively, but may cause nausea.
This fascinating medication is a monoclonal antibody, a fully human antibody produced in a lab. It slows the disintegration of bones and is particularly useful for women who suffer from premenopausal osteoporosis.
3. Osteoporosis Preventions
The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to keep moving. Exercise, in particular, weight training, is beneficial for patients with this disease. Workouts which pressure the bones, including climbing stairs, aerobics, and ballet, slow the onset of bone loss. Go for brisk walks if rigorous exercises do not suit you.
Apart from medications, a host of whole foods helps to slow down osteoporosis. You may know about them, but may not be aware that they deter bone loss.
1. Green leafy vegetables
Dark greens are not only high in Vitamin A but also rich in calcium. A cup of steamed green turnips provides you with about 200mg of this mineral. Green vegetables also contain Vitamin K, which slows your risk of osteoporosis.
2. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes, which are high in potassium and magnesium, make a delicious pie. The potassium neutralizes the acid that breaks down calcium, while magnesium regulates your Vitamin D intake. A medium-sized sweet potato pie has over 500 mg of potassium and 11g of magnesium.
3. Prunes and plums
Your grandmother may swear that these fruits keep her in good health, and she has a good reason to say so. They are rich sources of Calcium and Vitamin D. Prunes, which are dried plums, are high in these nutrients as well. Whether dried or fresh, they slow the breakdown of bones.
Figs are some of the best bone-strengthening fruits in the world. Five of them have almost 100mg of calcium. If you have osteoporosis, grab them from the supermarket shelves.
5. Fatty fish
Fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids have a host of nutrients that are good for bones. They are easy to eat because fishmongers usually remove their bones. Among these wholesome fish are salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
6. Almond butter
If you are tired of eating regular butter, try a new sandwich spread. Almond butter not only tastes divine but also boosts your calcium intake.
7. Plant-based milks
Milk from plant sources, like soybean, coconut or almond, is rich in Vitamin D. They have more calcium than cow’s milk. Substitute regular milk for soy milk if you want to slow down your osteoporosis.
Tofu is the main ingredient in many Asian dishes, and it is a nutritional treasure. With about 400g of calcium, it helps women who suffer from premenopausal osteoporosis.
9. Citrus fruits
Oranges and grapefruits are high in Vitamin C, which slows bone loss. A grapefruit has about 9mg of Vitamin C, and an orange, 3mg. Eat a grapefruit a day or three glasses of orange juice to satisfy your daily Vitamin C requirements.
Substitute refined sugar for molasses the next time you want to sweeten your coffee. One teaspoon of it gives you a 41g of calcium. Use it instead of honey, or include it in your milkshake.
The Bottom Line
Osteoporosis may change your life, but it does not have to slow you down. You will be able to manage it if you know its signs and take steps to remedy it. I Love My Shape hopes that these osteoporosis symptoms and treatments will be of help to you.