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The Hidden Truth of Osteoporosis
Written By : M. Lieberman 
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Osteoporosis is a condition that is characterized by the loss of the normal density of bone, resulting in fragile bones, leading to abnormally porous bone that is compressible much like a sponge, rather than as dense like a brick. This disorder of the skeletal system weakens the bones that cause an increase in the risk bones breaking or fracturing.

The condition can exist for long time, without any symptoms. because there are no symptoms unless a bone fractures. Some of the osteoporosis fractures may not be detected until years later and patients may not even be aware they have osteoporosis until they experience a painful fracture. Once the fracture happens, the symptoms are related to the location of the fractures.

Osteoporosis is a considered to be a silent disease. You are not aware that a problem exists until something happens, like a bone fracturing for no apparent reason. The truth is that as you age, your bones are actually deteriorating. It is estimated that there are literally millions of people, mostly women, who have osteoporosis. The bones in the body are actually living tissue and they constantly breaking down and rebuilding. As you become older, in the 40-50 age range, the process of rebuilding the bone cells does not keep up with the breaking down and this results in a loss of bone density.

Without any obvious symptoms, the actual bone density deteriorates, but this occurs at a very gradual rate and the condition usually goes undetected until there is a major break or fracture of a bone. The fracture happens because the bones are losing too calcium.

As you get older the deterioration of the bones gets worse. The outer surface or shell of your bones becomes weakened and the inner part of the bones can develop holes. As the condition becomes worse, it is more difficult to treat, but there are medications that can help to slow down the deterioration and possibly even reverse the process.

There is no actual cure for Osteoporosis but it is controllable. The use of new medications can be very effective for many of the people who have the condition. One of the most important things you can do involves having a bone density test. This test will provide your doctor with an overall picture of your bones. You should also consider proper good nutrition, by eating foods that are rich in both Calcium and Vitamin D, and finally, increase your level of exercise activity. All of these things will help you maintain the strength of your bones and help lower your chances of developing Osteoporosis.

Some of the risk factors of developing Osteoporosis cannot be modified, such as your family history, having a small body frame, your racial or ethnic makeup, if you have had surgery to remove your ovaries and if you have reached menopause. Other contributing factors can be changed to help prevent or even delay the onset of the condition.

What can you do to help delay the condition?

Eat foods that are diet in calcium during your life.

1. Take a calcium supplement. It is recommended that if you are over 50, you need about 1200mg daily between your diet and a supplement.

2. Vitamin D is required for your body to properly absorb calcium. A few minutes in the sun everyday will help. It is recommended that you get 400 IU of Vitamin D per day if you are under 70 years of age and 600 IU if you are over 70.

3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise. Any type of Weight bearing exercise, like walking, jogging, playing tennis or dancing will help to prevent bone loss. The stress that is placed on the bones during exercise will actually help to stimulate your bone to increase the density. The exercise will also help to improve your muscle strength. It is suggested to exercise for 30 minutes each day.

4. There are some types of medications that may increase the risk for developing osteoporosis. Some of these include: steroids, anti-seizure medications, some of the cancer drugs and long term use of birth control. If you have a thyroid disorder and take too much of your thyroid medication, it can cause your thyroid gland to become overactive and stimulate your bones to break down faster. Only your doctor can suggest the proper changes in your medications.

5. Do you smoke? Do you drink a lot of carbonated beverages or consume excessive amounts of alcohol? These can increase you risk for developing osteoporosis, so you should by all means consider either stopping or at least reduce these.

If you have any concerns that you may have Osteoporosis, talk to your doctor about having a bone density scan. The test is a non-invasive procedure and gives your doctor an accurate measurement of your bone density. If you are pre-osteoporosis or have osteoporosis, your doctor will decide the best treatment plan for you.

If you actually have osteoporosis, then you need to carefully follow the treatment plan of your doctor and include both the dietary and exercise recommendations made.

Maintaining good health practices will help you in both the prevention and treatment of any problems. It is important to remember that both your diet and exercise will have a significant role in preventing this disease.

Most Women desire to live long, healthy and active lives and the prevention and early treatment of osteoporosis will help you.

Almost all Osteoporosis bone fractures are responsible for a considerable amount of pain, a decrease in the quality of life, missed days from work and disability. Most patients who suffer from a hip fracture will require some type of long-term care. The elderly patients will often develop pneumonia and in some cases blood clots in veins in their legs and these clots can become dislodged and travel to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism from the prolonged bed rest after the hip fracture.

It is a sad fact that some women who have a hip fracture will die in the subsequent year from complications as an indirect result of the fracture. Once a person has experienced a spinal fracture due to osteoporosis, he or she is also at a very high risk of having another similar type of fracture in the near future. Women who are postmenopausal and experience a vertebral fracture will likely experience a new vertebral fracture of bone sometime in the following year. 

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