For the average 30-year old, his or her bones are as dense as they will ever be. But after this, bone density deteriorates gradually as we get older. Osteoporosis isn’t curable but it is treatable but what preventative measures can be taken to help maintain our bone health? 

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis

… a condition where bone density falls to abnormally low levels to the extent of fracturing and breaking very easily. The condition is degenerative and advances with time from when it becomes apparent.

What causes Osteoporosis?

The major Osteoporosis risk factor is age, gender and family history of the condition.But there are  also some lifestyle factors that can be addresses to help slow the rate at which bone density is lost.

Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis

The condition is a silent one. In fact, noting or experiencing a bone fracture is the closest one may ever get to knowing that Osteoporosis does exist in their body.

Osteoporosis fractures mostly occur in the spine, hip and pelvic bone regions, and especially, in older people. Also, if one loses height (inches off their tallness) or curved spine or poor body balance and posture (stooped or hunched), it may be indicative of a fracture.

Also, for women who are pre-menopausal, and  not pregnant, yet whose menstrual periods have stopped, or never started at puberty,  may be a sign of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis Diagnosis

If the above signs and symptoms and risk factors apply , it may be wise to consult your GP and seek a BMD screening. A follow-up screening after two years is also encouraged just to be sure. This applies to both men and women.

Associated Risk Factors :

1. Age

After age 30, bone density decreases gradually, putting anyone over that age at risk literally. Also, if someone fractures a bone in their body while above the age of 50, it’ll increase their risk for gradual bone weakness condition.

2. Gender

Women are at higher risk of Osteoporosis than men. Women have generally smaller bones than men do, hence less BMD. The constantly shifting hormone balance in women, mainly due to menstruation and menstruation periods, also causes occasional fluctuation in BMD and if normal levels take long to rejuvenate Osteoporosis may start to manifest.

Men become more at risk as they age, and women tend to have even a higher risk of Osteoporosis after menopause.

3. Genetic factors

If one or both parents have experienced bone fracturing or weakness, their children are considered at higher risk of being diagnosed with Osteoporosis than those whose parents haven’t had fractures before.

Also, people with a hyperactive thyroid and adrenal gland are in danger of losing more BMD. The same applies to people with eating disorders such as Anorexia. Anorexia, for example, hampers supply and absorption of essential bone marrow density nutrients such as calcium.

Scientists are yet to prove whether being short or tall (thighbone length) have its toll on causing Osteoporosis. However, ethnicity is a proven risk factor. White and people of Asian descent are at higher risk compared to African-Americans and the Hispanic.

 

Preventative measures:

1. Dietary choices

Calcium deficiency in a diet can, over time, increase chances of being diagnosed with Osteoporosis. Despite earlier studies disputing that calcium intake has little effect on bone mass density (BMD), doctors around the world have since associated calcium deficiency to an increased risk of this disease. So a healthy diet with adequate calcium intake is key.

Calcium Rich Foods

2. Weight gain/loss

Unsurprisingly, maintaining a healthy weight can help avoid Osteoporosis. Thin people tend to be affected by Osteoporosis more than individuals who are healthily slim. Bone Density is considered to be at a peak around the age of 30.

As we age, bone density loss is drawn from the higher levels of the bone system in a person of a healthy weight.Gaining too much weight or losing too much does increase one’s chance of fracturing a bone due to a decrease in ‘bone geometry’.

We at Lindsey Fitness are passionate about you achieving  and maintaining a healthy bodyweight through cleaner eating and exercise. We have helped thousands of people  to do just that over the last 22 years though classes and online programmes.

3. Physical activity

A sedentary lifestyle presents a major risk to bones. With time, sitting for too long, avoiding regular exercise and generally being less physically engaged—increases chances of being diagnosed with Osteoporosis. So an active lifestyle is key . How active are you? Government
recommendations are that all adults should exercise for 150 mins per week, that’s five 30 minute sessions of activity that gets your heart rate up and breathing rate up.  Weight bearing , low impact exercise especially, such as aerobics, jogging or power walking helps to slow the rate of bone loss and therefore onset of Osteoporosis.

 Lindsey Fitness Classes

4. Medication and treatment

Some medicines and treatment methods do trigger the onset of Osteoporosis. Those include treatment practices and drugs used to treat seizures, cancer, and transplant rejection. Muscle relaxants and tranquillizers can also increase the risk , according to the

The patient is encouraged to discuss with their doctor about how they feel and seek other medical options to help reduce the rate of early bone mass loss.

5. Tobacco and alcohol 

According to recent studies, smoking is a risk factor for Osteoporosis. However, medical research has not concluded exactly how that happens. But, prolonged alcohol use does cause bone mass loss over time. Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day may also you at risk. Therefore adhering to Government guidelines for safer alcohol consumption and quitting smoking can only lend itself to  improved general health.

A bone mass scan, or bone density scan, can help analyze one’s BMD to examine and determine if it is optimal or whether it can lead to weak bones—and ultimately, potential bone fracturing or breaking.

 

Osteoporosis is not curable, but it is treatable.

A bone mass scan, or bone density scan, can help analyse BMD to examine and determine bone health and ultimately the potential  for bone fracturing or breaking.

At Lindsey Fitness we organise an  Osteoporosis screening service every year for members of all ages to find out about their bone health and if they are indeed at risk  or showing signs of Osteoporosis.

This has proved invaluable …..reassuring to many or hi lighting the need to address their diet for some.

 

Osteoporosis Prevention: Self Remedies and Dietary Implications

In summary then – once osteoporosis sets in it is not reversible, it is as preventable and thus treatable to some degree, as the next common nutritional deficiency abnormality.

So a diet rich in Calcium and Vitamin D forms the key component of a preventable regimen against the onset of osteoporosis. Other than that, exercise is yet another critical constituent of strengthening  and slowing loss of bone mass and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Lindsey Fitness Tip:

 Osteoporosis is known as ‘The Silent Disease’ so knowing as much about it as we can and  doing all we can for ourselves through diet and exercise can only help, and the earlier we do that  the better in the long run.