Early Prevention of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by weakening of bones due to loss of bone density and mass. It is a progressive condition that can cause bones to fracture under mild stress. Osteoporosis commonly occurs in women over the age of 50 and is influenced by certain genetic and environmental factors.
Some factors which can contribute to osteoporosis are:
- Excessive thyroid hormone
- Smoking and alcohol
- Low calcium in diet or reduced calcium absorption by the body
- Low levels of estrogen after menopause
To evaluate your bone strength, your doctor may recommend a bone density test. The test is painless and takes about 10 minutes to perform. Your bone strength is represented by a T-score value. A T-score of below -2.5 indicates osteoporosis. The lower the value of the T-score the greater are the chances of fracture.
To strengthen bone, weight bearing exercises are recommended. These exercises stimulate your body to produce more bone. Bone strength is also increased when muscles pull on bone during exercise. Being physically fit also improves your flexibility and reduces your risk of falling. Walking, jogging, climbing stairs, aerobics and dancing are beneficial for improving bone strength.
Supplementing your diet with adequate amounts of calcium is also important. When calcium stores are reduced, your body draws calcium out of your bones to carry out its processes. This can be avoided by intake of calcium. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, sardines, soy and certain vegetables. Your doctor may recommend a calcium supplement if these are inadequate.
Other lifestyle changes include:
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Avoiding smoking
- Avoiding cola drinks
If you have a high risk of developing osteoporosis or bone fractures, your doctor can recommend certain preventive medications that help build bone. Women who reach menopause or those with certain menstrual disorders have a low level of estrogen. This results in increased bone loss. Managing these conditions can help prevent osteoporosis.