Osteoporosis & Nutrition

I am not going to preach:

Everyone knows that nutrition is vital to health as well as lifestyle and exercise. So it would not be right of me to tell you all that you should be doing. However, what I am going to tell you is that there are certain things you should take and certain things to avoid if you have conditions such as Osteoporosis.  First frightening statistics on this condition.

Left: Normal bone. Right: Osteoporotic bone

What is Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.

Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” Viewed under a microscope, healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. When osteoporosis occurs, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone. Osteoporotic bones have lost density or mass and contain abnormal tissue structure. As bones become less dense, they weaken and are more likely to break. If you’re 50 or older and have broken a                                                 bone, ask your doctor or healthcare provider about a bone density test.

One thing I did not know about osteoporosis is that it can develop from an injury sustained at a much earlier age, and the bone degenerates over time. In other words, Injury can lead to osteoporosis and osteoporosis can cause injury.

Osteoporosis is Common

Around the world, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men aged fifty years and over are at risk of an osteoporotic fracture. An osteoporotic fracture is estimated to occur every 3 seconds. The most common fractures associated with osteoporosis occur at the hip, spine, and wrist. The likelihood of these fractures occurring, particularly at the hip and spine, increases with age in both women and men.

Osteoporosis is Serious

Breaking a bone is a serious complication of osteoporosis, especially with older patients. Osteoporotic bone breaks are most likely to occur in the hip, spine, or wrist, but other bones can break too. In addition to causing permanent pain, osteoporosis causes some patients to lose height. When osteoporosis affects vertebrae or the bones of the spine, it often leads to a stooped or hunched posture.

Osteoporosis may limit mobility, which often leads to feelings of isolation or depression. Additionally, twenty percent of seniors who break a hip die within one year from either complication related to the broken bone itself or the surgery to repair it. Many patients require long-term nursing home care.

Osteoporosis is costly

Osteoporosis is responsible for two million broken bones and $19 billion in related costs every year. By 2025, experts predict that osteoporosis will be responsible for approximately three million fractures and $25.3 billion in costs annually only in America.

Osteoporosis Can Sneak up on You

Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease because one can’t feel bones weakening. Breaking a bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis or a patient may notice that he or she is getting shorter or their upper back is curving forward. If you are experiencing height loss or your spine is curving, be sure to consult your doctor or healthcare professional immediately

Supplementation & Lifestyle

Calcium and vitamin D supplements can be prescribed to ensure the maximum effectiveness of your medication. You should be aware that attention to lifestyle factors (including risk factors, nutrition, and exercise) plays an important role in treatment and prevention.

Of course, when you go to your health professional they may well prescribe drugs to treat the most severe cases. But these drugs alone will NOT be the answer.