(Video by the Alliance for Aging Research includes interviews with patients with Osteoporosis and features Dr. John D. Kaufman, MD, Past President of the Osteoporosis Interest Group, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.)
First read the following text and then watch the video for a better understanding of Osteoporosis and how to prevent and treat it.
Not Just an Elderly Women's Complaint
Osteoporosis (porous bones) is a very serious disease where the bones become fragile and more likely to break. It can be potentially debilitating or even fatal. The disease develops silently, with the sufferer showing no symptoms, until the first fracture appears. Osteopenia means low bone density and can lead to Osteoporosis. If you have Osteopenia it is very important to take actiont to build up your bone density.
This debelitating condition is often though of as a women’s disease, but this is because women rapidly lose bone density after the menopause, unless they take steps to prevent it. However men can also develop the condition and the following information concerns everyone. Prevention is possible in most cases and the ealier you make the necessary lifestyle changes advised here; the less likely you are of contracting the condition.
First of all, you must make sure to get plenty of exercise, including weight-bearing activities, which is extremely important to the health of your bones. This could be either jogging, walking briskly or riding a bike and the sooner it becomes part of your daily routine the better you will feel and the more you will protect yourself from age-related diseases.
Resistance exercises are also essential to improving bone density and you should do 20 to 30 minutes of such exercise at least three times a week.
Secondly, make sure your diet contains calcium. Several vegetable servings as well as dairy products should be eaten every day, in order to receive adequate calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, you can still get enough calcium through lots of vegetables, especially leafy greens, fruit, wholemeal bread, beans, nuts and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Thirdly, change your dietary habits. Understand that besides calcium, you need much, much more. Vitamin D is essential to help your body absorb the calcium, but also is a vitamin, which increases life expectancy according to several studies. Magnesium and potassium are also necessary, and it is believed that vitamin K can also play a role in guarding against osteoporosis. You can get adequate vitamin D by exposing yourself to sunlight for at least half an hour per day. Fresh green leafy vegetables are the best source of vitamins, but after the menopause it is recommended to take calcium and vitamin D supplements, which often come in one tablet.
If you are not getting these nutrients in your diet, it is important to take high quality supplements.
Bone-Protec is one of the very few formulas on the market that contains the full spectrum of nutrients needed to build strong bones and ensure the best possible bioavailability. We would recommend you check out this product and other information on anti-aging products by clicking here.
Osteoporosis and Bone Density Loss
Few things are more important to your longevity than bone health. Your bones are living tissues that require adequate nutrition and exercise just as your muscular system does. Our skeleton consists of connecting bones that have a thick outer layer and a strong inner layer of supporting tissue, which resembles a honeycomb.
Osteoporosis means part of this honeycomb become thin, which means it can no longer support the bone. Therefore fractures become more common and can be caused by even minor accidents, such as a small bump. These fragility fractures, as they are called, can affect any part of the skeleton, but are more common in the spine, hip and wrist.
Hip fractures are especially dangerous and approximately 20% of people who break their hips will die within a year from related complications.
Bones are made up of a protein called collagen, and minerals, including calcium. As seen above, our bones have a thick outer layer or cortical bone, supported by a strong mesh of supporting bone tissue or trabecular bone, resembling a honeycomb. Each bone is made up of a thick outer layer known as corticalbone and a strong inner mesh of rod shaped structures of fibrous bone, which resemble a honeycomb.
Bone is a living matter that changes throughout our life. As bone cells age they are replaced by bone building cells in a process called bone turnover. In childhood, the bone building cells work faster, so bones grow stronger and gain density. During this period, it takes only two years for the skeleton to renew completely, whereas in adults this process takes between seven and ten years.
Bone density increases until the mid 20s, after which the balance between bone loss and renewal remains stable for some years. But from around 35, bone starts losing density very gradually as part of the aging process. In women, menopause can speed up the process, leading to osteoporosis in a matter of years. In later life this can lead to an increase in broken bones and fractures.
Can osteoporosis be prevented?
The strength of our bones as well as our height are dictated by our genes, but our life-style can also play a part. For example the more we save in our ‘bone bank ‘during our youth as well as the strategies mentioned above for later in life.
From childhood to our early twenties is the time we can make the most important investment in the health and strength of our bones. This will place us ahead in the years when bone loss occurs. Weight bearing exercises and a well balanced nutrition plan, which ensures adequate calcium intake, during the time our skeleton is growing can help our bodies resist the ravages of Osteoporosis in later life.
To Sum UP
As we get older we become more likely to break our bones, because bone density decreases, leaving the bones less resistant and more fragile. According to some surveys fractures are the number one cause of death in people over 65.
We have stressed throughout this website that regular exercise and a balanced diet can help us avoid most of the problems associated with aging. This disease is no exception - unless we take counter-measures, bones become fragile, increasing the risk of fractures.
As we age we often experience poor co-ordination and balance, leading to and increased risk of falling and breaking bones. Exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise and those that improve our balance, can greatly lower these risks. Another strategy is to get enough calcium, either through dairy products or other foods rich in calcium or by taking calcium supplements from a reputable source. Drug treatments, to strengthen bones, are available for those at highest risk of fracture. Visit your doctor and ask for a bone density test as this will mean s/he can prescribe drug treatments to strengthen your bones if your risk of fracture is high.
The bone density test is very easy, using low-density radiation or ultrasound. Either the ankle is x-rayed or a full scan of the body, if this is deemed necessary. It is important to take your medicine regularly and follow the directions precisely. If this is done, there are usually no unpleasant side effects. Regular scans will show that the medicine is doing its work and that bone density is improving.
Read the sections on Exercising and Eating Well to learn how to build or maintain your bone density capital. Proper maintenance of your bones is one of the key factors in aging well.
Learn more about building strong bones and preventing Osteoporosis
Strong bones are essential for your long-term health and wellbeing. You therefore owe it to yourself to be aware of the importance of building strong bones as early as possible in life and maintaining a regime throughout life that will help keep them that way. Time taken now to take care of your skeletal system will help you maintain an active, independent life for the years to come.
It's probable that you... like most of us who are worried about osteoporosis, or some other age-related condition, take some type of dietary supplement.
But, do you really know if these supplements are delivery the benefits that you need? Many of the supplements available today are ineffective, either because they do not contain enough levels of the ingredient that can help treat or prevent the problem they are supposed to cure or protect against, or because they do not contain what is stated on the label. Even worse, many supplements can have dangerously high levels of contaminants due to inadequate regulations governing their manufacture.
If you take, or want to take supplements for osteoporosis and would like to learn more about the disease and which supplements to use to prevent it, we would recommend you check out this info by clickinghere. This site contains some interesting information on this subject as well as being a reputable source of dietary supplements.
As one of my readers pointed out, this disease is not only an age-related disease and can affect young adults. The condition is defined as a loss of bone mass to a specific level that is determined by one's ideal peak bone mass. The peak is usually experienced sometime in the twenties, often around 25; bone mass decreases from this point on.
When the potential peak bone mass is not achieved (for a variety of reasons) osteoporosis might develop at a much earlier age.
There is also a very strong link between this condition and anorexia and as can be imagined, but there might also be other reasons, such as problems absorbing calcium. Absorption can be reduced by cortisone and also by soft drinks containing phosphoric acid. The importance of getting enough calcium as a child and adolescent/young adult cannot be stressed strongly enough in this context.
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