Osteoporosis prevention is important because although there are medications and treatments for osteoporosis, there is no cure for it. Once your bones are weak, you are susceptible to fractures, go through discomforts and pains and reduce your effectiveness and quality of life.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that relates to thinning of the bones especially at the spine, hip, wrist and pelvic. When this happens, your bones lose its density, become weak and porous and may easily fracture. It is common among post menopausal women but it does affect younger women and also men.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
There are several factors that may lead to osteoporosis. Low calcium and low vitamin D is one of the causes of osteoporosis. Lack of exercise, the use of medication over a period of time and suffering from liver and kidney disease also contribute to bone density loss.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
The first symptom is a loss in height because the spine is compressed and shortened. Another symptom is developing a stooped posture. But these symptoms aren't really obvious until it has reached an advanced stage and with age. The more obvious symptom is when you experience back pains. If you suffer from a sudden severe back pains even from actions like coughing or sneezing, it is an indication that you may have fractured your bone.
Prevention is better than cure is a common adage. The first thing you might want to do is measure your bone density through a specialized test such as the bone mineral density or BMD or go through a DEXA scan. These tests will tell if you bone density is low. Once you know, you can take preventive measures.
Osteoporosis prevention can be done by getting more vitamin D and calcium. Your body needs the vitamin D to absorb calcium from your intestine. You need calcium for building and maintaining strong bones. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body can't absorb calcium even if you have enough of it. Furthermore, if you are suffering from any intestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis or wheat allergy, your body is unable to absorb the calcium.
Sources of vitamin D are sunlight and from foods such as milk, cereal, salmon, fish liver oil, beef liver, egg yolks and cheese. If you can't get enough of sunlight or from the food you eat, vitamin D supplement may also help with calcium absorption and in osteoporosis prevention.
You may need to add more calcium in your diet or take calcium supplement if you smoke, drink alcohol and eat foods containing high amount of sodium or protein. All these affect your bone health.
Exercise is also necessary in osteoporosis prevention. Your bones need to be exercised to grow and thicken. Weight bearing exercise, three times a week is highly recommended to build bone mass.
So in order to prevent osteoporosis and other health related problems as you aged, you may have to adapt a healthy lifestyle and have proper nutrition. It includes quitting cigarettes smoking and reducing your alcohol consumption.
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