Healthy Tips for Seniors: An Inside Look at Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease that leads to bone loss. It causes bones to become fragile and increases the risk of fractures (breaks). Some bone loss is a normal part of aging. Osteoporosis causes bone loss to occur too fast. When this happens, bone becomes very weak. It can cause: loss of height, spinal change, such as a stooped posture, and severe back pain from fractures to the vertebrae. Many people have osteoporosis and don’t even know it. At first osteoporosis doesn’t have any symptoms. Most people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they fracture a bone like the hip, wrist, or spine. By the time a fracture occurs, the person may have had osteoporosis for many years.
Bone is always changing as old bone breaks down, and new bome is formed. After about age 30, the body slowly begins to lose more bone than it replaces. It is important to learn if you are at risk now! Common Risk Factors for Osteoporosis that you cannot control are:
- GENDER: Women are higher risk as a result of menopause.
- AGE: Increases with age beginning after age 30.
- Menopause: Women’s bodies stop making estrogen after menopause.
- Family History: Relatives that have osteoporosis or frequent bone breaks.
- Ethnicity: Asians And Whites have higher risk than Blacks or Hispanics.
- Small Body: Thin and small framed people have less bone mass.
These are some of the following ways to find out if you have osteoporosis:
- A Medical History - tell the provider about your family history.
- A Physical Exam – can detect change in posture or other spinal changes.
- Standard X-rays – broken bones can detect osteoporosis.
- Bone Mineral Density Test – measures bone loss.
An individual can try the following plan to help prevent and treat osteoporosis:
- Changing your diet – eating more calcium can help build and maintain healthy bones.
- Being more physically active – regular physical activity improves bone health and strengthens muscles.
- Having regular checkups – regular visits to your health care provider.
- Quitting smoking – get help quick to stop.
- Limiting or avoiding alcohol – ask your health care provider their recommendation.
- Using medication – certain medications can slow down bone loss.
Calcium can help strengthen bones. Ask your health-care provider how much calcium you need in your diet.
In general, adults need 1,000-1,500 milligrams (mg) of calcium each day. Talk to your health-care provider before taking any calcium and/or vitamin D supplements.
Reference: National Osteoporosis Foundation ~ www.nof.org
This independent living in Houston community is fortunate to have the expertise of a nurse from a home health care Houston company, Senior Allegiance Home Health, to advise assisted living Houston residents on best care practices. Click www.treemont.com/blog to view more Healthy Tips for Seniors.