As we age, not only does our age and appearance change, but the body also changes and experiences more difficulties. The likelihood of conditions such as fatigue, memory loss, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and anemia increases. Also, the body itself can suffer from disorders one of the most common disorders in our country is osteoporosis. Worldwide the number of people who suffer from osteoporosis is 200 million. In our country, the number is estimated at 54 million.
What Is Osteoporosis?
The translation of osteoporosis is literally “porous bone.” This immediately gives a clear picture of what the condition entails. When someone gets diagnosed with the disease osteoporosis, it means that this disease weakens the bones, by affecting the bone mass and bone strength. The inside of a bone looks like a sponge and when osteoporosis occurs the holes in the “sponge” are getting bigger and more numerous, which weakens the bone from the inside out. No worries, right? Well, you couldn’t be further from the truth, because this means you’re at risk for sudden and unexpected bone fractures.
Our bones are a vital part of our body, as this is our support system and protector of vital organs. In addition, it also stores important minerals such as calcium. This mineral is necessary for the process that keeps our bones healthy. After age 35, bone breakdown happens faster than bone buildup, which causes loss of bone mass. When someone suffers from osteoporosis the loss of bone mass occurs even faster.
When Am I At Risk for Osteoporosis?
There isn’t a specific cause for why someone gets osteoporosis and why another doesn’t. Medical experts do know that a big part depends on how much bone mass someone attained in their younger years. The more you attained, the less likely it is for you to get osteoporosis. However, this varies per person as this is partly inherited and is influenced by several risk factors, like:
- Gender; women are 4x more likely to develop osteoporosis
- Age; the older you get, the greater the risk
- Ethnicity; Asian or Caucasian people are more likely to develop osteoporosis
- Body frame size; the smaller, the more likely to develop osteoporosis
- Lowered sex hormone levels
- Thyroid problems
- Overactive parathyroid and adrenal glands
- Diet, like low calcium intake and eating disorders
- Gastrointestinal surgery; it limits the amount of surface area available to absorb minerals
- Medication, like prednisone & cortisone
- Medical conditions, like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Drinking alcohol
Continue reading on the next page and discover, among others, how you can recognize this condition and what you should do next.