Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone that features a loss of normal bone density, thereby increasing the risk of fracture or a break in a bone. It is manifested as a curving spine and a loss of height due to gradual collapsing of the vertebrae. In its advanced stage, the disease can lead to porous bones that fracture easily.
Normal bone consists of calcium, protein and collagen, all of which give bone its strength. Bones that are affected by osteoporosis can fracture with what should otherwise be a relatively minor injury that normally would not cause a bone to fracture. At its worst, osteoporosis can lead to abnormally porous bone almost as weak as a sponge.
The spine, hips, wrists and ribs are especially vulnerable to fracturing, especially in seniors. Osteoporosis is most common in women after menopause and may also develop in men. Osteoporosis remains a neglected disease because it is undetectable unless specifically tested for and becomes a cause suspect only after bone is broken.
Factors that increase the risk of developing osteoporosis:
* Being female
* Belonging to the Asian or Caucasian race
* Cigarette smoking
* Excessive alcohol consumption
* Lack of exercise
* Low calcium diet
* Insufficient vitamin D
* Poor nutrition
* Having a thin and small body frame
* Having a family history of osteoporosis
Prevention of osteoporosis
* Maintain a healthy diet
* Taking adequate levels of calcium and vitamin D
* Have a daily moderate exercise
* Reduce risk factors such as smoking and alcohol intake
Prevent bone fractures by reducing bone loss or, more desirably, by increasing bone density and strength. Preventing osteoporosis, however, is as important as treatment since it is difficult to completely rebuild bone weakened by osteoporosis.
“Calcium plays an important role in building stronger, denser bones early in life and keeping bones strong and healthy in later life,” according to the US National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Sources of calcium
Calcium supports bone growth especially for young children who needs it for the formation of their teeth and bones. bone. It also promotes healing and maintains bone strength. Milk is an excellent source of dietary calcium because of its high concentration of calcium. The calcium in milk is also well absorbed by the body. Increasing one’s calcium promotes the deposition of calcium in the bones thereby helping to prevent compression fractures.
Other good calcium sources are mineral water, cheese, yogurt, small fish, dark green vegetable, almonds. Broccoli, spinach canned salmon with the bones, sardines and soy products such as tofu. Food sources of Vitamin D include egg yolks, fortified milk and cereals, salmon and mackerel.
Vitamin D or the “sunshine vitamin” comes from sunlight. Fifteen minutes of sun exposure of your hands and face is enough for your daily dose of Vitamin D. The older you get, however, the more efficient your body is at making Vitamin D. Without an adequate intake of Vitamin D, half the calcium you take is excrete with your stool.
How much Vitamin D do you need? Some scientists say the current recommended dosage of 400 International Units (IU) is enough (600 IU if you are above 60).
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