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Protecting your bones: A guide to understanding Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle—so brittle that a fall, or even mild stress like coughing, can cause a break. These breaks most commonly occur in the hip, wrist, or spine.


A Bone is living tissue that is repeatedly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn't keep up with the loss of old bone. Imagine your bones as being naturally porous, like a sponge. With osteoporosis, these pores get bigger, making the bones fragile and prone to fractures. This condition sneaks up silently and gets worse over time, often leading to painful and dangerous fractures.


A guide to Osteoporosis

Types of Osteoporosis
  • Primary Osteoporosis: As people age, their bones naturally weaken because the process of breaking down old bone happens faster than building new bone. This is especially common in women after menopause but can affect anyone who is older. Both the spongy inside part of the bone and the hard outside part can be affected. When bones lose mass and their structure weakens, they become thinner and more likely to break.

  • Secondary Osteoporosis: Secondary osteoporosis happens when another health condition or medication interferes with bone growth, making bones less dense and more likely to break. This condition can cause bones to weaken over time, increasing the risk of developing osteoporosis.


Signs & Symptoms
Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Risk Factors
Factors that cannot be changed:
  • Gender: Women are more likely to get osteoporosis. They generally have less bone tissue and lose it faster, especially after menopause

  • Age: As you get older, your risk of osteoporosis increases. This is because bones become thinner and weaker with age

  • Body Size: Small, thin women are at higher risk

  • Ethnicity: Caucasian and Asian women are most at risk. African American and Hispanic women have a lower risk, but it's still significant

  • Family History: If your parents had fractures, you might be at higher risk because bone health can run in families


Factors that can be changed:
  • Sex Hormones: Missing periods (amenorrhea), low estrogen levels (menopause), and low testosterone in men can lead to osteoporosis

  • Anorexia Nervosa: This eating disorder, where you fear gaining weight, can increase your risk

  • Calcium and Vitamin D: Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet over your lifetime can make your bones weaker

  • Medications: Long-term use of certain medications, like steroids and some anti-seizure drugs, can cause bone loss and fractures

  • Lifestyle: Being inactive or bedridden for a long time can weaken your bones

  • Smoking: Smoking is harmful to your bones, just like it is to your heart and lungs

  • Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of bone loss and fractures


Diagnosis

When you visit your doctor, they will review your medical history and may recommend tests like X-rays or DXA scans to check your bone density. These tests provide T scores to indicate bone health:

  • -1.0 and above: Normal e

  • -1.0 to -2.5: Osteopenia (early stage of bone loss)

  • -2.5 or lower: Osteoporosis

  • -2.5 or lower with fractures: Severe osteoporosis


Treatment of Osteoporosis

The main goals for treating osteoporosis are to stop or slow down bone loss and prevent fractures

Proper Nutrition
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables

  • Make sure you get the right amount of calories for your age, height, and weight

  • Include foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, and protein


Lifestyle Changes
  • Avoid secondhand smoke and quit smoking if you do

  • Drink alcohol in moderation (no more than one drink a day for women and two for men)

  • Regularly visit your doctor to monitor your bone health


Exercise
  • Engage in strength training and resistance exercises to keep bones strong

  • Focus on activities that improve muscle mass, balance, and coordination to reduce the risk of falls

  • Avoid high-impact exercises if you have osteoporosis

  • Work with a physical therapist or exercise specialist to develop a safe exercise routine


Fall Prevention
  • Take steps to avoid falls, as they can lead to fractures


Medication

  • Your doctor may prescribe medications specifically for osteoporosis

  • It's important to take these medications as directed and continue with proper nutrition and lifestyle changes

For those who develop osteoporosis due to another condition, it’s crucial to treat the underlying cause. For example, if a medication causes bone loss, your doctor might adjust the dosage or switch to another medication


Calcium & Vitiamin D
  • These are vital for bone health. Calcium can be found in dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods. Vitamin D can be obtained from sunlight and foods like fatty fish and fortified milk.


How can we help?

We at Daactarni, can help to both prevent and manage osteoporosis by creating a custom exercise program to strengthen your bones and muscles over weeks and months. This helps improve your balance and decrease your chance of falling. Additionally, we can also help rehabilitate an injury due to osteoporosis, and improve your quality of life if you’re experiencing chronic pain. To get started, you can book a consultation with us at https://calendly.com/ismat-01/daactarni


Exercises may include:
  • Weight-bearing exercises

  • Strengthening exercises

  • Postural exercises

  • Flexibility exercises


Prevention is Key

The best way to fight osteoporosis is to prevent it. Stay active, eat a balanced diet rich in calcium, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol. Remember, osteoporosis is a silent threat, but with the right lifestyle choices, you can protect your bones and stay healthy.


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