Age has many effects on the human body. It is nature and we can’t fight it. As our bodies deteriorate, many signs start to surface: tiredness from activities that we once deemed easy, hearing and sight problems and different pains that creep to our bodies with no obvious reason. However there are more serious issues that can affect our bodies or even threaten our lives. And the most dangerous are those that go under radar such as high blood pressure and cancer.
Osteoporosis, one of the silent diseases that can take a huge toll on the human body, is the loss of bony tissue, resulting in bones that are brittle and liable to fracture like glass, easy to break and hard to repair. Generalized osteoporosis is common in the elderly, and in women
often follows the menopause. Unless a person gets a specific diagnostic, osteoporosis shows no symptoms and can go undetected until a fracture occurs. Often and to one’s surprise the fracture could be a result of a minor knock or fall. However; as small as the accident might be the consequences could be life changing.
According to a study out of East Virginia Medical School in 2016: osteoporosis related fractures entail more hospital time and cost more than their normal counterparts.
Finally; as a person ages they must be aware of the danger of osteoporosis. Since it’s not something that can be felt until it hits hard, symptoms must be watched and preventative steps must be taken accordingly.
The following are 7 signs that could indicate osteoporosis condition. Number 6 is of a special importance since many people fail to relate it to brittle bones.
As a person reaches the 50s, osteoporosis must be a part of the conversation with their doctor. A diet with adequate calcium, exercise, and hormone replacement therapy are preventative, and bisphosphonates can be used to reduce further bone loss. Women older than 65 and men older than 70 must be checked for osteoporosis condition on a regular basis.
2. CERTAIN MEDICATIONS
Age is not the only factor contributing to osteoporosis existence, it is also a feature of Cushing’s syndrome and prolonged steroid therapy as well as inject-able contraceptives, some cancer treatments, and antidepressants.
With awareness of the effect of these medicines and others, every patient must consult their doctor to recommend supplement and/or medication than can counter the effect other treatment.
3. LOSS OF HEIGHT
Age comes with a loss of height and a bent back. But when these sign come faster than normal or are notable, such as the loss of two or more inches and an acute curvature in the backbone around the shoulders and the neck, it’s a sign of osteoporosis. After the age of 50, a regular height measurement is highly advisable.
4. VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
Calcium is the building block of bones. And it’s absorption is paramount for that process. The human body cannot perform that task without vitamin D. moreover; new research indicates that vitamin D can prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and cognitive impairment.
Vitamin D deficiency often comes with mild symptoms such as muscle weakness and bone pains.
The human body synthesizes vitamin D maturely when exposed sun rays. Consequently, people who spend a lot of time indoors or live in areas where winter is longer (up to 6 months) are very susceptible to vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D can also be found in food sources such as egg yolk, fish oil, fortified
HIGH LEVELS OF SERUM CALCIUM
This test can act as a good indication of bone loss. And wither vitamin D deficiency is affecting the bones or even the existing of bone cancer. Moreover it can serve to rule out paget’s disease, which affects how the bones grow and repaired; and to check for signs of liver related diseases.
JOINT OR MUSCLE ACHES
Osteoporosis doesn’t give clear or any signs to its existence and development. And before the disease has reached its advanced stages, the patient may not feel any pain or discomfort.
Stress fractures and small cracks in the bone can happened during usual ever day activity and give an achy sensation. In advanced stages, as vertebrae are compressed loss of height starts to be noticed and the back curvature starts to put more strain on the back muscles, soreness in
the back and the neck starts to be part of daily life. Muscles are also affected by osteoporosis because they lose the support from their connections to the bones. So; difficulty getting up from a chair without a push with arms is a sign of muscle weakness caused by osteoporosis.
Unfortunately, the first sign a person might get indicating osteoporosis condition is the one that says it has reaches advanced stages. When bones become fragile and thin, even the smallest of knocks can cause a fracture. Moreover; the insignificance of accident often mislead people to think that they are fine and carry on their day only to realize the severity of the incident when the pain of a broken bone sends them to the IR. People should look for signs such as pain and swelling around an area affected by an impact or fall, out of alignment bone, and persisting pain mostly in the back and neck area even if there is no clear memory of an event that may have caused it.
Age comes with aches and pains, that’s a part of our lives as human beings. Yet, is advisable to mention those aches and pains to the doctor. In a study of over 47,000 women with a fragility fracture, only 1 in 5 knew they had an underlying condition of osteoporosis.
And surprisingly few of them took the news seriously enough to take action against further damage to their bones.
Osteoporosis prevention is not limited to a certain age group, but it’s something everyone must think about. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, and regular exercise especially weight lifting can put a shield in front of Osteoporosis.
Every person who is pushing 30s must give these steps a serious thought. And the older a person might be the more urgent it becomes. Being able to perform everyday tasks and carry one’s grand kids and play with them and have full function and ability is the joy that comes with age. Don’t let Osteoporosis take it away from you