Osteoporosis causes over 8.9 million fractures annually. As a result of this rising condition, many individuals are looking into osteoporosis prevention methods to reduce the likelihood of this painful epidemic continuing. The good news is there is a number of preventative measures that can be taken to dramatically reduce your chance of developing osteoporosis as you age.
Whether you come from a family where osteoporosis is prevalent or are simply looking to enjoy a strong and healthy life for as long as possible prevention is important. Read on for some important information on preventing osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
Before diving into how to treat and prevent osteoporosis it’s important to have a strong understanding of what osteoporosis actually is.
At its most basic definition osteoporosis can be summarized as a bone disease that arises when the body loses too much bone or has problems creating new bone.
When this occurs within the body, the existing bones tend to become weak and can easily break from the tiniest of falls or bumps. As a result, those suffering from osteoporosis often need surgical treatment. These surgeries will replace fragile bones throughout their body.
As traumatic is osteoporosis may be, it is not uncommon. Nearly 54 million Americans have osteoporosis, with the majority of cases occurring in women and men ages 50 and older.
Osteoporosis can be incredibly dangerous, particularly in cases where the patients are older. The breaks are most likely to occur within the spine or wrist making it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks.
Signs of Osteoporosis
IIt’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of osteoporosis to seek out treatment as early as possible. Unfortunately, there are no clear symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. however, it’s important to recognize the signs once osteoporosis has begun to truly occur.
Some signs of osteoporosis may include:
- an increase in back pain especially along the vertebra
- a gradual reduction in height
- a hunched or stooped over posture
- bone fractures occurring easier than usual
If you notice one or more of the symptoms above and have yet to be diagnosed with osteoporosis, it’s important to speak with your doctor. They can start looking into potential treatments.
Causes of Osteoporosis
There is a number of causes linked to osteoporosis, particularly due to the fact that all bones tend to decrease in their mass as time goes on. By the age of 20, most individuals have reached the peak of their bone mass and will only lose bone mass as they age.
The likelihood of developing osteoporosis depends significantly on the bone mass held early on in your youth. This can typically be effected by your nutrient intake for the number of fractures you experienced on a regular basis.
There are some risk factors that also seem to contribute to the likelihood of developing osteoporosis.
These risk factors include the following:
- your sex, with women being much more likely to develop osteoporosis
- your age
- your race, with osteoporosis being more prevalent in those of white or Asian descent
- your family history
- your body frame size
Additional factors such as sex hormones, thyroid problems, and additional glands may also play a role.
Those with low calcium intake, a history of eating disorders, or gastrointestinal surgery may be more likely to develop osteoporosis. This is due to a low intake of essential nutrients.
The good news is there are some essential tips that you can begin incorporating into your daily routine. These tips will dramatically reduce the likelihood of osteoporosis occurring.
To begin, it’s important to incorporate regular exercise on a daily basis. Individuals between the age of 19-64 should be incorporating at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.
If you’re looking for exercises that particularly focus on preventing osteoporosis, it’s important to also incorporate a variety of weight-bearing exercises and resistance exercises as well.
Your diet will play a huge role in how likely you are to develop osteoporosis. It’s important to focus on clean and healthy eating as well as taking a vitamin D supplement to encourage bone development.
Aim for calcium-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables, tofu, yogurt, dried fruit, and additional calcium supplements. You can also get the majority of your vitamin D from foods like oily fish, liver, egg yolk, and even some fortified Foods
Finally, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood of osteoporosis by giving up some bad habits. Start by quitting smoking and limiting the amount of alcohol you intake on a weekly basis. It’s suggested to not go over 14 units of alcohol on a weekly basis and to avoid binge drinking at all cost.
In the warmer months, you can get out in the sunlight and enjoy some fresh air. This is a great way to absorb vitamin D and calcium without having to eat any extra kale.
Regular Check-Ins with Your Doctor
Regularly checking in with your doctor or physical therapist is an ideal way to stay on top of your osteoporosis prevention methods. We suggest looking for a specialist with experience in bone health and the natural balance of nutrients needed for thriving health. This will aid in overall disease prevention.
If you’re looking for therapy specialists, contact us today for more information on how we can be of assistance. The sooner you start to integrate these important preventive measures into your lifestyle, the less likely you will be to struggle with physical conditions later on.