Calcium is important throughout people’s life. Most women get only about half of the calcium they need everyday so taking a calcium supplement is often advisable. An adequate calcium intake is essential in the prevention of osteoporosis. The best form of calcium for preventing bone loss is calcium carbonate. If you choose to use supplements it’s important that you understand that the body can only absorb up to 750 mg of calcium at one time, so you will need to divide your dose if the amount of calcium supplement you take exceeds that amount. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seafood.
Younger women who experience the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may be pleasantly surprised to find their symptoms are reduced by employing these osteoporosis preventing techniques. Studies show that calcium supplementation may reduce or prevent up to 50% of all PMS symptoms, and exercise is often effective for reducing PMS symptoms.
Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium-milk that is fortified with Vitamin D is one of the best sources. Sunlight also is an excellent source of Vitamin D-being in the sun for just 15 minutes a day helps the body produce and activate Vitamin D.
Nowadays people can treat almost everything and osteoporosis is not an exception. Major drug therapies now exist for treating osteoporosis. Unfortunately, studies continue to report that doctors fail to evaluate and adequately treat both men and women for this condition, even after a fracture.
In a 2002 study of Caucasian women over age 60, fewer than 2% were evaluated for osteoporosis or spinal fracture by their doctors. Among those who were diagnosed, only 36% received appropriate medication. Two studies in 2003 further reported that among adults who had sustained fractures, less than 5% of men and fewer than half of women were evaluated and treated according to recommended guidelines. In one of the studies, only 24% of women were given treatments for osteoporosis after a fracture. In both studies, the older a woman was the less likely she was to have adequate evaluation or treatment.
There are two types of drugs used to treat osteoporosis:
- Anabolic or bone-forming drugs that rebuild bones. The primary anabolic drug is low-dose parathyroid hormone (PTH), which is administered as injections. Fluoride is another bone-building drug, but it has limitations and is not commonly used.
- Antiresorptive drugs include bisphosphonates, hormone replacement therapy, SERMs, and calcitonin. These drugs block resorption and so slow the rate of bone remodeling, but they cannot rebuild bone as anabolic.
Both types of drugs are effective in preventing bone loss and fractures, although they vary in their effectiveness and safety.
Summarizing all the above said, If you feel that you are at risk for osteoporosis, talk with you doctor. He may order a bone density scan which is a simple and painless tool that measures bone density. Women who do not take estrogen after menopause have other options for preventing osteoporosis including drugs such as calcitonin which slows bone loss. In any case your physician can help you determine what is best for you.
Until a healthy person is around age 40, the process of breaking down and building up bone by cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts is a nearly perfectly coupled system, with one phase stimulating the other. As a person growths, or in the presence of certain conditions, this system breaks down and the two processes become out of sync.
As women age estrogen levels decrease and the risk of osteoporosis increases. The National Osteoporsis Foundation says that one in two women and one in eight men over 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime. Thirty-three percent of women over 65 will experience a fracture of the spine and as many as 20% of hip fracture patients die within 6 months from conditions caused by lack of activity such as blood clots and pneumonia.
People don’t know the reasons why this occurs during aging. Some persons have a very gradual turnover, some have a very high turnover rate of bone, but the breakdown of bone eventually overtakes the build-up.
Women may reduce their risk of osteoporosis taking birth control pills during their reproductive years probably because of the estrogen that many oral contraceptives contain. During menopause the level of estrogen produced by the ovaries greatly decreases causing the risk of bone loss to increase significantly. An inadequate intake of calcium throughout life increases the chance of bone loss since calcium is one of the main components in bone. An inactive lifestyle, some medications such as diuretics, steroids, and anticonvulsants increase the risk. Women whose family history includes osteoporosis have a higher risk of developing this condition.
So we can summarize and mark out specific risk factors for bone density loss in men and women. Concerning men they are:
- medical conditions that can reduce testosterone levels, such as prostate cancer treatments, testicular surgery, and mumps;
- hypogonadism, which is a severe deficiency in the primary hormone that signals the process leading to the release of testosterone and other hormones responsible for reproduction;
- hormonal deficiencies, including both testosterone and estrogen, which occur in older men. It is unknown yet what normal estrogen levels are in men.
As for primary risk factors for osteoporosis in women they are the following:
- never giving birth;
- missing periods for 3 months or longer;
- menopause. Within 5 years after menopause, the risk for fracture increases dramatically.
- surgical removal of ovaries and some others.
We can combine some risk factors in both men and women. These rules are entirely simple as for understanding so for following:
- lack of exercise
- being underweight
- lack of sunlight
Often uninformed people confuse osteoporosis with arthritis and believe they can wait for symptoms and only then see a doctor. However, the mechanisms that cause arthritis are entirely different from those in osteoporosis. Osteoporosis usually becomes quite advanced before symptoms appear.
All too often, osteoporosis becomes apparent in dramatic fashion: a fracture of a vertebra, hip, forearm, or any bony site if sufficient bone mass is lost. These fractures frequently occur after apparently minor trauma, such as bending over, lifting, jumping, or falling from the standing position.
Pain, disfigurement, and debilitation are common in the latter stages of the disease. Early spinal compression fractures may go undetected for a long time, but after a large percentage of calcium has been lost, the vertebrae in the spine start to collapse, gradually causing a stooped posture called kyphosis, or a “dowagers hump.” Although this is usually painless, patients may lose as much as 6 inches in height.
People must remember they are never too young to think about preventing osteoporosis. Because it is hard to replace bone that is lost, prevention is a key. Beginning a lifelong commitment to exercise and healthy nutrition while you are still young will reduce your risk of developing this condition later in life.
Exercise plays an important role in the retention of bone density in the aging person. Bone strength increases with regular exercise – to help prevent bone loss weight-bearing exercise such as walking, low-impact aerobics, or tennis work best.
The illustration shows that exercises requiring muscles to pull on bones cause the bones to retain and possibly gain density
Osteoporosis affects more than 25 million Americans-mostly women past menopause. In the United States approximately 1.2 million bone fractures each year are related to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeleton in which bones become brittle and prone to fracture. In other words, the bone loses density. That disease is diagnosed when bone density has decreased to the point where fractures occur with mild stress. Osteoporosis causes the bones to become thin and fragile, increasing the chance of breaking with even minor injury.
The skeleton consists of groups of bones which protect and move the body
Nowadays medicine knows two kinds of osteoporosis:
- Type I, or high turnover, osteoporosis occurs in 5 – 20% of women, most often between the ages of 50 and 75. This is because of the sudden postmenopausal decrease in estrogen levels, which results in a rapid depletion of calcium from the skeleton. This type is associated with fractures of the wrist, hip, or forearm caused by falls or minor accidents. This kinds of osteoporosis accounts for the significantly greater risk for osteoporosis in women than in men.
- Type II is known for much lower turnover, osteoporosis results when the process of resorption and formation of bone are no longer coordinated, and bone breakdown overcomes bone building. Type II osteoporosis affects both men and women and is associated with leg and spinal fractures. In some cases women who are older can have both type I and type II osteoporosis.