The meaning of the term ‘Osteoporosis’ originates from ‘Osteo’ meaning bone, and ‘porosis’ implying thinning or becoming more porous. Hence, osteoporosis literally means ‘thinning of bone’. Medically, Osteoporosis is a disease of bone in which the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced which means one has a low bone mass and deteriorating bone tissue.
In simple words the bones become thin, brittle and may be easily broken. Bone mass (bone density) is the amount of bone present in the skeletal structure. The higher the density the stronger are the bones. Bone density is strongly influenced by genetic factors, which in turn are sometimes modified by environmental factors and medications.
If Osteoporosis is not prevented in the early stages or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until the bone tends to break. These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist.
The fracture caused by osteoporosis can be either in the form of cracking (as in a hip fracture), or collapsing (as in a compression fracture of the vertebrae of the spine). Though thee spine, hips, and wrists are common areas of osteoporosis-related bone fractures almost any skeletal bone area is susceptible to osteoporosis-related fracture.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Severe pain, humpback, actual loss of height, are the main symptoms. Spasms of the back muscles and backache, thinning of pelvic bones, loss in twisting and bending strength, aching of the long bones and frequent occurrence of fractures.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Prolonged deficiency of calcium and Vitamin D demineralizes the skeleton and shrinks it. The disease is more prevalent among women.
Chronic alcoholism and heavy smoking.
Excess consumption of meat.
Reduced physical activities with age.
Post menopausal hormonal imbalance and prolonged cortisone treatment are other factors.
How to Prevent Osteoporosis
As we grow older, our skeletal system degenerates making our bones weak and prone to fracture. However, if you start living a healthy lifestyle early in your life, you may be able to interrupt the development of this disease. Here are some ways to prevent your chances of developing osteoporosis:
Get regular weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, jogging, climbing stairs, dancing, or weight lifting. Weight-bearing exercise helps keep bones strong and decreases the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Both are needed for building healthy, strong bones. You can get a boost of Vitamin D by drinking fortified milk or by spending 10 to 15 minutes in the sun each day (if you have a dark skin, you will need more time in the sun). Take supplements of calcium and vitamin D if you are not getting enough in your diet.
Limit your alcohol intake to 1 drink per day or less.
Cut down on caffeine. Caffeine increases calcium loss from your body and puts you at risk for osteoporosis.
There are medications, including estrogen, which can help prevent osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether these are ideal for you. Home Remedies for osteoporosis
Oats, rice, millet and barley, sour milk products and foods rich in lactic acid should be consumed in liberal quantities.
Fruits like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries; sunflower seeds and sesame seeds; carrots, cabbage and green vegetables rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and silicon are particularly beneficial.
Avoid overeating and large meals. Chew food thoroughly.
Trace mineral boron prevents calcium loss and de-mineralization.
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