Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease that causes the bones to become weak, making them more prone to fractures. When you get osteoporosis, a minor fall or bump is can cause your bones to break. If the condition worsens, even a sneeze is enough to break bones.
While medical science has still not found a way to determine whether you will develop osteoporosis, it is possible to ascertain the risk factors, which will allow you to understand if you are prone to this bone disease.
1. Diet Lacking in Bone Building Vitamins and Minerals
Your bones require Calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium is used by the body to build bones while Vitamin D helps maintain bone health and strength. You can get adequate Calcium from dairy products or supplements. However, your first choice for Calcium should be food sources rather than supplements. Vitamin D is naturally present in certain fatty fish like tuna and salmon, and today food manufacturers are adding the vitamin to cereals, soy milk and regular milk. You can also get Vitamin D from sunlight, but this can increase your risk to skin cancer.
2. No Exercise
Leading a sedentary life is one of the main reasons for osteoporosis. You need to exercise to help maintain and build bone mass and that is why it is important to do high-impact exercises five times a week. These include running, hiking and even dancing. In addition, you should be looking to perform muscle strengthening exercises as well. Lifting weights is a great way to strengthen your muscles. So, if you lead an inactive life, your bones will not be strong and over a period of time, you will begin to lose Calcium, which is normal after 35. This will cause your bones to weaken and before you know it, you will be prone to osteoporosis.
Smoking cigarettes is a major risk factor for osteoporosis. The toxins and chemicals in cigarette smoke lead to bone loss and when combined with poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and low body weight, it increases your risk further. It is believed that smoking alters hormones within the endocrine system and this changes the function and activity of bone cells. You can reduce your risk of osteoporosis by quitting smoking and the adverse effect on your bones can then be easily reversed with proper nutrition and exercise.
4. Gender-related risk
Women over 50 years of age have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. In fact, research shows that women are four times more susceptible to getting osteoporosis compared to men. It is believed that women have a higher chance of osteoporosis because they have lighter and thinner bones and also because they tend to live longer than men.
5. Bone Structure
Women with small, thin frames are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis compared to larger and heavyset women. This is because thinner and petite women have less bone mass to lose and when this happens, their bones become brittle and weak.
There are some medications like corticosteroids, cancer medication and those for seizures that have been linked to osteoporosis. So if you have a chronic health condition that requires you to take medicines that can affect your bone health and strength, consult your doctor right away. This knowledge will allow you take measures to prevent extensive loss of bone mass.
If you have or suspect you have Osteoporosis, call today to schedule an appointment with the specialists at Namaha Healthcare. They are committed to providing comprehensive care to every patient and make them feel at home.