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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Osteoporosis

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Osteoporosis is a disease that makes the bones weak and prone to fracture. The most common fractures occur at the spine, wrist and hip. Spine and hip fractures in particular may lead to chronic pain, long-term disability and even death.

Most people begin to gradually lose bone strength by their mid-30s. As the balance between bone resorption and bone formation shifts, more bone is lost than can be replaced. Overtime, bones become thinner and structurally weaker.

Symptoms
  • Gradual loss of height
  • Rounding of the shoulders
  • Back pain
  • Stooped posture or dowager's humps
  • Aching bones

 

Risk Factors
  • Lack of adequate calcium and protein in the diet
  • Low estrogen levels after menopause
  • Decreased activity with increased age
  • Smoking and alcohol intake
  • Use of cortisone drugs
  • Vitamin deficiency (especially of vitamin C and D)
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Chronic or recurrent urinary tract or pelvic infections
  • Body type. Thin women with a small frame are more susceptible
  • Family history of osteoporosis
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
  • Weight bearing exercise and walking at least 20 minutes a day can actually increase bone mass.
  • Adequate calcium intake. Milk is an excellent source of calcium phosphate. Low-fat cheese, yogurt, skim milk, red salmon, sardines, nuts and tofu are also high in calcium.
  • Vitamin D increases calcium absorption in the intestines as well as its reabsorption through the kidneys. Salmon, sardines, tuna and milk are rich sources of vitamin D.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption.
  • Quit smoking for it can lowers estrogen levels. Women with lower estrogen levels are at increased risk for developing osteoporosis.
  • Monitor protein intake. Protein increases calcium excretion more than it increases calcium absorption, leading to an overall loss of calcium from the body.
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Health Conditions
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