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How to Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious bone condition that results from low bone density and weakening bone strength. It makes the bones fragile and susceptible to fractures. In fact, it is considered by medical experts as a silent killer since a victim will feel no symptom of bone loss until the bones become so weak that sudden strain, bump, or fall leads to a fracture and a notable loss in height. Fractures caused by osteoporosis are usually concentrated on the hip, ribs, vertebra, and wrist. Osteoporosis is diagnosed by measuring the bone’s mineral density using a low-radiation scan.

osteoporosis

Many think that osteoporosis is prevalent among older people; however, even young people can fall prey to this debilitating illness.

Osteoporosis is a Serious Threat to Wellbeing

Studies conducted by the International Osteoporosis Foundation show that in Europe, one person suffers from osteoporosis-related fracture every 30 seconds. In the United States, more than 10 million people are diagnosed with osteoporosis and more than 34 million are at risk due to deteriorating bone mass. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, 50% of women and 25% of men 50 years old and above are prone to osteoporosis-related fractures. Furthermore, the World Health Organization warns that the number of fractures caused by osteoporosis around the world is expected to double within half a century, should there be an increase in elderly population.

Osteoporosis is an ailment that should never be ignored. It results to a high rate of disability and even mortality. Almost 25 percent of patients above 50 die within a year due to medical complications brought about by fractures.

Who is at Risk of Osteoporosis?

Studies show that osteoporosis is hereditary and parents who suffer from hip fractures are more likely to pass it to their children. Malnutrition also hastens a victim’s risk factor. Babies whose mothers are malnourished during pregnancy are at risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Age is another factor to consider, since older people may suffer from fragile bones. Medical conditions that show up in the later years, like Cushing’s disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism could also increase the chances of developing this ailment.

Women in menopause are four times more in danger of developing osteoporosis compared to men. This is because the production of estrogen, which is vital is bone mass protection, is reduced.

The risk of developing osteoporosis is always preventable through proper diet and healthy lifestyle. Deficiency in calcium and vitamin D will more likely cause bone deterioration, while excessive consumption of salt triggers calcium excretion. Excessive alcohol consumption and poor diet may also lead to osteoporosis.

Eating disorders also brings serious consequences to the health since they leads to dietary deficiencies, decline in body weight, and absence of menstruation for women. As a result, the body stops producing estrogen, which in turn weakens the bones.

A lifestyle of inadequate physical activity also hastens the development of osteoporosis. Since smoking decreases the bone’s mineral density, it also carries a significant risk. According to the World Health Organization, one out of eight fractures is linked to smoking, thus, when a person stops smoking, he alleviates his risks of suffering from fracture and osteoporosis.

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

Preventing osteoporosis starts in childhood, when 90% of bone mass is developed. A diet rich in calcium, a nutrient necessary for strong bones, should always be prepared and consumed. Some of the main sources of calcium include milk, dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, eggs, salmon, nuts, oatmeal, sesame seed, tofu, and fresh, green, leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. This vitamin, when exposed to the sun, is synthesized in the skin. According to Dr. Manuel Mirassou Ortega, a member of the Mexican Bone and Mineral Metabolism Association, sunbathing for up 10 minutes every day provides 600 units of vitamin D, which is enough to prevent osteoporosis. A diet rich in eggs, saltwater fish, and liver also provides the body a steady supply of vitamin D.

Regular exercise is always emphasized as the main tool in keeping the bones and muscles healthy. Exercise increases the bone mass during childhood and adolescence while it prevents bone deterioration during old age. Even simple exercise, such as walking, jogging, and even dancing are proven effective in keeping the bones strong.

Prevention has always been said to be a better remedy than cure. And what blessings of good health and happy life come to those who make the effort in preventing osteoporosis.

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