What Is Osteoporosis?
A so-called silent disease weakens your bones. They lose their strength and density, so it is very easy to break them. It is difficult to spot osteoporosis early. Perhaps you don’t feel it, but your bones do.
A bone is like any other tissue. It is constantly changing because new cells are being formed all the time. However, once we get to a certain age, our body starts producing fewer bone cells.
Do Only Women Suffer From Osteoporosis?
Although the disease is more common among women, there are a significant number of men diagnosed with osteoporosis. According to certain sources, over 2 million men in the US suffer from it.
Women who have a family history of the disease are likely to have osteoporosis in their later years. Also, the chances are higher if they have broken a bone as an adult. Early menopause and lack of calcium contribute to greater risk, too. Along with calcium, vitamin D is of great importance. This vitamin helps bones to better absorb calcium.
Women develop bone problems at a higher rate than men once they get into menopause. However, after 65, the rate of decreasing bone strength is the same.
How to Build Stronger Bones
For more information on how to increase the strength of your bones go here.
How to Avoid Falls
Once you get osteoporosis, the risk of breaking a bone soars. Preventing falls should be your primary concern.
There are several things you can do to avoid nasty falls.
Feeling dizzy? Consult a doctor if the medications you take make you lose your balance. When walking, using a cane is advised. This will give you more stability and help you to stay on your feet.
As we grow old, our senses worsen. We tend to have issues with hearing and seeing. This can cause falls when, for instance, we don’t see a curb in front of us or don’t hear a bicycle coming from behind. Using glasses and hearing aids can help.
In your home, don’t put everything on the floor. Also, try to have enough light in every room. Install nightlights around the house, especially if you get up often at night to go to the toilet. A huge number of falls happen during the night, so make sure your way to the toilet is bright enough.
How to Treat Osteoporosis
Exercising regularly and diet can contribute to fighting osteoporosis. (See exercises in the video below.) However, when your bones start losing density, you will need a lot more to stop bone loss. Many doctors recommend taking medicines, so consult with them to see if they think taking medications will help you.
Risedronate is a bisphosphonate that helps against losing bone density. Your bones will get stronger, but there is a quite extensive list of side effects: bone pain, muscle pain, nausea, stomach ache, etc.
Estrogen is sometimes prescribed to women in menopause. This hormone treats several symptoms, but it can also help to increase the density of your bones. Be careful when taking it and ask your doctor about potential side effects.
Other medicines that fight bone loss are PTH, calcitonin, and raloxifene. Before starting any of the listed medicines, don’t forget to consult a physician. If you feel any of the side effects, ask for another treatment.
Osteoporosis prevents us from running our errands, and millions of Americans struggle with it. When it is diagnosed, it is usually in the later stages, that’s why it is called a silent disease. Although osteoporosis causes numerous problems, it is possible to fight it and postpone the symptoms.
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