When you pass the age of 30, your bones slowly start thinning – a process impossible to stop, but that can be delayed. In the fight against osteoporosis, the initial thickness of your bones play a role, but so does your health, diet and exercise.
For women, the decline in oestrogen after menopause seems to play a significant role. Young women are also more at risk, and should take extra precaution not to expedite the bone-thinning process.
Types of osteoporosis
There are two types of osteoporosis: primary and secondary osteoporosis. The primary form occurs more frequently, like post-menopausal and senile osteoporosis. Secondary osteoporosis is related to metabolic illnesses like hypothyroidism, diabetes, etc.
Osteoporosis equals bone fractures. The thinning bones reduce the capacity of your bones to bear weight, making the smallest force a risk to obtaining fractures. Some examples include breaking ribs when coughing, or breaking a hip when just stumbling. The secondary effects could be related to immobilisation after such a fracture has been incurred. Inactivity is inevitable when treating a fracture, which in turn slows down metabolism and worsens or creates other illnesses.
There are a number of tools used to diagnose osteoporosis, under which computed tomography, digital radiography, bone density scans, bone biopsies in extreme cases and X-rays when bone mass has reached about 30%.
According to Full of Life’s website it is extremely important to detect osteoporosis in its early stages, in order to avoid more advanced stages along with the accompanying complications. The first symptoms can include dull or pulling bone pain mostly in the spine, as the vertebrae becomes more porous and fractures. You can literally shrink; your back can bow (kyphosis). Then there is myogelosis where the muscles of the back bulge and knot. To combat this pain, we often adjust our posture to compensate.
Exercise early in life, together with eating foods loaded with Calcium and Vitamin D and other healthy habits, could help the fight against osteoporosis. Alkaline foods such as Rice and Soya Milk, Kale and other Green leafy vegetables help prevent Osteoporosis, improve bone density and absorption of Calcium.
Healthy diet: Eat nutritious foods containing sufficient amounts of calcium and Vitamin D to build strong and healthy bones. The Vitamin D helps the bones absorb the calcium and also helps build muscle. Taking Vitamin D may also aid in not breaking bones that easily. You can get Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight and extra supplements available at stores. Get your Vitamin D levels tested today to determine if you are getting enough.
Regular exercise: Do exercise that works the muscles and bones against gravity: do weight-lifting, walking, running, and if that is not your cup of tea, try something fun like dancing.
Limiting alcohol consumption: The rule of thumb is not to exceed two drinks a day for men and one drink per day for women. Drinking more than this will substantially increase your risk of osteoporosis.
Quit smoking: Apart from the other health risks that come with smoking, osteoporosis is right up there, as it encourages bone thinning.
Myth – Milk prevents Osteoporosis: Many scientific studies have shown that Dairy actually contributes to Calcium loss from our bones, although many doctors choose to ignore these studies and still promote the consumption of Dairy.
Saveourbones.com explains how it happens: “Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. Calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit.
Knowing this, you’ll understand why statistics show that countries with the lowest consumption of dairy products also have the lowest fracture incidence and Osteoporosis in their population.”