Osteoporosis is characterized by bone loss and is primarily concerned with bone disease. It causes bones to weaken and break easily if you fall or even from minimal bumps. Osteoporosis means porous bones because bones have larger holes as compared to healthy bones when observed under a microscope. The tissue structure becomes abnormal due to loss in mass or density.
A bone density test is recommended to determine if you have the condition. Since it is a silent disease, symptoms don’t show until you experience an accident which causes the bone to break. It is the cause of more than 8.9 million fractures every third second annually across the globe. It affects 200 million women worldwide.
What are the factors of risk?
There has been extensive research which shows that being overweight in infancy can lead to a higher risk of developing osteoporosis in adulthood. Other factors include having an inactive lifestyle that is too sedentary. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can cause lower bone density and increase the risk of fracture. Moreover, it tends to impact white and Asian women more than men, and older women are more at risk than younger women. You can also be genetically disadvantaged if there is a family history of the condition. Smaller body frames of both men and women are also a risk factor.
Some of the causes for this condition include:
Reduced levels of estrogen and testosterone
Estrogen levels tend to lower significantly in women after they reach menopause. This hormone is essential for producing new bones as it is responsible for supporting osteoblasts, also known as bone-producing cells. A lack of estrogen inhibits osteoblasts from building bones. This puts menopausal women more at risk of having osteoporosis. Similarly, for men, reduced levels of testosterone can cause excessive bone loss.
Improper dietary habits
A diet that lacks certain foods and nutrients can impact bone growth negatively. Nutrients that are responsible for healthier bone growth include calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, Vitamins K, B and B12, and phosphorous. Foods high in these nutrients include cheese, milk, dairy products, fish, leafy green vegetables, and yogurt.
Similarly, you should actively avoid foods which are not beneficial to bone health as much as possible. While eliminating them entirely may not be a possibility, you can try to moderate your consumption at least. These include having a diet rich in animal protein as it can cause your body to lose out on calcium. Excessive use of caffeine in tea or coffee can severely impact the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Symptoms tend to reveal themselves much later, and in earlier stages of bone loss, there are barely any. Some common symptoms include a decreased height, bad posture; bones that tend to break more easily and back pain.