Osteoporosis is a condition in which an individual’s bone density decreases. The body absorbs more bone tissue without producing enough to replace it. As a result, individuals diagnosed with osteoporosis have porous, weaker bones that are more susceptible to fractures.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, “Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds.”
Osteoporosis cannot be reversed, but it can be prevented and treated in order to avoid further bone density loss. To aid in osteoporosis prevention, The Pavilion Senior Living, with locations throughout Tennessee and West Virginia, is sharing the risk factors, both controllable and uncontrollable, of this condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Before we dive into the risk factors of osteoporosis, it is important to bring awareness to the signs and symptoms of this condition. The signs of osteoporosis are mild, so it can be easy to overlook them or chalk them up to a normal part of aging. Individually they may seem minor, but when these symptoms add up, it can mean that osteoporosis is already developing.
By understanding these signs and symptoms, you are more equipped to recognize the condition and take precautions to prevent further progression.
Signs of osteoporosis can include:
- Brittle fingernails
- Receding gums
- Weak grip strength
- Decrease in overall fitness
- Break a bone too easily
- Loss of height
- Cramping and aching muscle or bone pain
- Stooped posture or compression fracture
Osteoporosis Risk Factors
Risk Factors That You Can Control
Consume Recommended Amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium is an essential nutrient for strong bones. Medical News Today states, “adults aged 19 years and above should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. Women who are over 51 years of age and all adults from 71 years onward should have a daily intake of 1,200 milligrams.”
Additionally, vitamin D coincides with calcium intake and is a vital aspect of osteoporosis prevention because it assists the body in absorbing calcium.
To ensure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D, get regular exposure to sunlight and consume dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt daily.
Lead an Active Lifestyle
If you are inactive, you increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking or lifting weights, helps to keep your bones healthy and strong. By participating in physical activity frequently, you may also improve your balance and coordination, reducing the risk and likelihood of a fall.
Smoking is known to cause several health issues, but it can also lead to the progression of osteoporosis. Michigan Medicine reports that “people who smoke lose bone density faster than nonsmokers.”
Avoid Drinking Alcohol in Excess
Risk Factors That You Cannot Control
The risk of developing osteoporosis increases with age; in fact, “your bone density peaks around age 30. After that, [you will] begin to lose bone mass.” Growing older is unavoidable, which is why you have to practice healthy habits to keep your bones as strong as possible.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, “of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women.”
Why is this the case? First of all, women tend to have a smaller frame than men, which means they likely have smaller and thinner bones. Additionally, estrogen, a hormone that helps to protect bones, decreases significantly when women reach menopause, resulting in further bone loss.
If your parents, grandparents, or other members of your immediate family have shown signs or symptoms of osteoporosis, your risk of developing the condition increases.
Previous Broken Bones
If you have previously broken or fractured bones, they are already weaker than they once were. Previous fractures or breaks can also increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis prevention begins with understanding the risk factors and recognizing the early signs and symptoms. By doing so, you can take steps to keep your bones strong and healthy! Participating in physical activities and consuming a nutrient-dense diet, all offered at The Pavilion Senior Living, go a long way in osteoporosis prevention. Contact our team at The Pavilion to learn more about our daily activities and dining experience.