- Loss of height and/or weight.
- Changes to posture.
- Balance and gait (the way you walk) ability.
- Muscle strength.
- Measure the level of bone density.
- Predict the risk of future fractures.
- Monitor the efficiency of an ongoing treatment.
Osteoporosis in the early stages does not show any symptoms or give any warning signs. However, overtime as the bone gets weakened by osteoporosis certain symptoms can be observed. These include
- Fracture, which can occur as a result of even a sneeze or cough.
- Waning gums.
- Declining grip strength.
- Frail and brittle nails.
- Back pain may occur if there is a collapsed vertebra.
- Loss of height may occur over time
- A deformed posture
What causes osteoporosis is not so clear. However, possible causes include certain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, the use of certain medications such as oral or injected corticosteroids (example, prednisone or cortisone).
The development of osteoporosis also depends partly on the level of bone mass in the body. The higher the level of bone mass, the more the bone, and the less likely an osteoporosis occurs. The lower the level of bone mass, the more likely an osteoporosis develops. These are some of what causes osteoporosis
When to see a doctor
You should be concerned about osteoporosis if you had an early menopause, have had to take corticosteroids for several months at a time, or if any or both of your parents had hip fractures.
- Is osteoporosis costly?
Annually, osteoporosis accounts for two million broken bones and $19 billion in related costs. And according to experts prediction osteoporosis, by 2025, will be responsible for nearly three million fractures and $25.3 billion in related costs per annum.
- How to treat osteoporosis naturally
To naturally promote bone health, several supplements such as soy, red clover, and black cohosh, may be made use of. However, discuss the use of these supplements with your doctor or pharmacist. Reasons being that;
- If any at all, there aren’t enough studies supporting the use of these supplements to treat osteoporosis naturally. So there’s no sufficient prove that they work.
- Possible side effects, as well as interaction with the medications you may be taking.
After all said, a number of people gave report of positive results with these natural treatments.
- Complications of osteoporosis
- The most serious complications of osteoporosis are bone fractures, mostly in the spine or hip.
- Hip fractures are usually caused by a fall, and may result in disability. There’s also an increased risk of death occurring in the first year after the injury.
- In certain cases, spinal fractures may occur without even a fall.
- Weakness of the spine (vertebrae) to the point of crumpling. This can result in back pain, loss of height, and a deformed forward posture.
- How to prevent osteoporosis
Some of the best means on how to prevent osteoporosis include:
- Maintaining appropriate body weight, as obesity is a risk factor.
- Taking the recommended daily dose of calcium and vitamin D.
- Consume sufficient protein-laden diet.
- Regular exercising, especially weight-bearing exercises.
- Quit smoking.
- For women, hormone therapy can be useful. However, the pros and cons must be properly weighed.
If you think you are at risk of developing osteoporosis, it is best advised to talk to your doctor about the best means of prevention to suit you.
- Why do you get osteoporosis?
There are a number of factors that can put one at risk of osteoporosis
Unchangeable and beyond control risks: Some of the risk factors for osteoporosis are out of one’s control. These include
- Sex: Women are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men.
- Age: The risk of osteoporosis increases as one grows old.
- Race: Whites and Asians are at increased risk of osteoporosis
- Family history: A person is at a high risk if s/he has a parent or sibling with osteoporosis.
- Body frame size: Those with small body frames may be at an increased risk because their likely low bone mass.
Hormone levels: Having too much or too little of certain hormones puts one at increased risk. These hormones include sex hormones, thyroid hormones, and overactive parathyroid and adrenal glands.
Dietary factors: Osteoporosis is more likely to develop in people with low calcium intake and eating disorders.
Digestive and gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and gastrointestinal (weight loss) surgery.
Cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer increases the risk of osteoporosis
Certain lifestyle choices such as sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use.
Certain medical conditions such as kidney disease, liver disease, lupus, multiple myeloma, rheumatoid arthritis, leukaemia, lymphoma, sickle cell disease.