An Overview of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is often referred to as a silent disease. This is because you normally aren’t aware of it until after you break a bone. By this time your bone density is decreasing and you are more likely to suffer from additional fractures as you age. Back to Top of your health online page
It is recommended for women over 50 and who are post menopausal to have a bone density test. This test will then determine if your risk of developing osteoporosis is high. Another test is done usually two to three years later and compared to the first. A doctor can then see if your risk has increased or not.
If you go for regular checkups your doctor will advise you to increase your calcium intake as you age. As well as calcium you need to get adequate doses of vitamin D.
For those who live in cold climates a vitamin D supplement is advised. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure a good intake of all essential vitamins and minerals.
As you age you tend to start exercising less and this is not good for your bone mass. You should try to do some form of exercise that helps to strengthen your muscles. Walking and swimming are excellent choices and easy on your joints.
Another area of concern is your lifestyle habits. If you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol you have increased your risk of developing osteoporosis.
If you suffer from a hip of spinal fracture at an early age you will want to get a bone density test done. If your T-Score comes back at -1 or more then you will need to start taking additional amounts of calcium.
For women increasing your vitamins and calcium level is a good idea at any age. This is especially important if you are someone who does not consume many dairy products or are lactose intolerant.
Even women who are currently experiencing menopausal symptoms it is a good idea to start watching your calcium intake. Do this along with getting additional exercise and you will start reducing your risk level very quickly.
There are certain treatments that can be used for anyone diagnosed with osteoporosis including estrogen and hormone therapy. If your risk level is not high then increasing your calcium and mineral levels by a supplement and natural foods is good enough.
By taking the time to think about what you are eating and how it affects your future you can help reduce your own risk factor.
If anyone in your family has a history of osteoporosis then talk with your doctor about getting an early bone scan. This could save you from a lot of heartache in the coming years.
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