Bone Health: All About Osteoporosis

Bone is essentially living tissue that’s broken down and then replaced constantly. Osteoporosis, which means “porous bone”, happens when the production of new bones isn’t able to cope with the demand for the removal of older bones. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), approximately 54 million people suffer from Osteoporosis.

How Osteoporosis Works

Osteoporosis basically weakens and thins your bones. When this happens, your bones would become very fragile and easily break, most particularly your wrist, spine, and hip bones. This disease develops gradually over time and is usually only detected when a sudden impact or minor fall results in a bone fracture. While most injuries occur in the wrist, spine, and hip, they could likewise occur in the pelvis or the arm. Sometimes, even a simple sneeze or a cough might lead to one of your spinal bones collapsing or a rib being fractured.

Osteoporosis is not typically painful, unless you experience a fracture, says an adult care professional in Lehi. She adds that while fractures are the most common warning symptoms of osteoporosis, some older patients could develop that bent-forward, stooped posture, which usually occurs when spinal bones become fractured, making it extremely hard for the afflicted individual to support his or her body weight.

Who Could Get Osteoporosis

While anyone could develop osteoporosis, it is more widespread in senior women. Common risk factors include the following:

  • Having inherent low bone density
  • Old age
  • Being significantly thin and small
  • Certain medications
  • Being an Asian or white female
  • A history of osteoporosis in the family

It’s extremely vital to note that osteoporosis is known as a “silent disease” because you might not even know that you actually have it until you experience a fracture. Likewise, osteoporosis could also limit your mobility, which usually causes feelings of depression or isolation. What’s more, 20% of patients who break their hips pass away within a year following surgery or complications from the broken hip itself. Additionally, plenty of patients would need long-term and extensive home or nursing care.

With all this in mind, to give your bones a fighting chance, make certain to eat foods rich in vitamin D and calcium, stop smoking (if applicable) and get regular exercise. You could also ask your doctor for medications. Always be careful and avoid falling down because falls are the most common cause of bone fractures in osteoporosis patients.