Women and Osteoporosis
Ever notice how some elderly women have a difficult time standing straight. Why is that? In many cases, the answer is Osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs over time in which our bones become fragile enough so that break easy.
Severe cases of Osteoporosis is evident when all our bones become fragile, not just the one's in our spine.
Something as simple as a strong hug can in fact lead to a broken bone(s) when severe Osteoporosis is present.
Small fractures and compressions in the bones of our spine causes it to curve into an "S" shape which causes a person to bend forward.
Osteoporosis often affects people as they age because when the body ages, it naturally loses some of the material that makes up our bones.
The amount of bone material that the body makes is greater than the amount it loses and the total amount of bone material in our body increases up until a women reaches her mid 30's.
At this point this process reaches a balance and our bodies then begin to only replace what we actually lose in bone mass and it remains stable.
Osteoporosis occurs when this balance is disturbed enough so that the body loses more old bone than it can replace.
Why women are susceptible to Osteoporosis
Although anyone can get Osteoporosis, it occurs far more frequently in women for a number of reasons.
In fact, by the time most women reach 60, one in every four women will have been affected by Osteoporosis to some degree.
Physically, women generally have smaller and lighter bones than men so there is less bone mass lost over time making them more susceptible.
Men also make more bone mass than they lose for more years than women do.
Additionally, when women start menopause, their bodies stop producing the hormone estrogen. Estrogen plays an important role in the reduction of bone loss.
By the age of 70, women can lose up to one-third her total bone mass. It's no wonder why women are more vulnerable to Osteoporosis given these factors.
Factors that increase a woman's risk of Osteoporosis
You are more likely to develop Osteoporosis if you are Asian or Caucasian, especially if you have fair skin.
You are also more likely to develop Osteoporosis is you have a small thin frame and if there is a family history of the condition.
Other risk factors include having breast-fed a baby or never having a baby and early menopause.
Smoking, caffeine and alcohol in excess, a lack of exercise and a deficiency in calcium are all lifestyle factors associated with Osteoporosis.
Medical conditions that include: diabetes, hyperthyroidism, anorexia, chronic bronchitis and emphysema may also make you more susceptible to Osteoporosis.
Certain medicines such as the use of steroids for asthma and arthritis, some diuretics, medicines that contain aluminum and certain anticonvulsant also increase your chances of developing Osteoporosis.
Taking a high enough dose of prescribed thyroid hormone and high stress are also contributing factors to Osteoporosis.
Simple measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing Osteoporosis include:
Making sure you get enough calcium in your diet by eating a healthy balanced diet or through proper supplementation.
Calcium isn't enough, do not neglect important vitamins and minerals either.
The body needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium.
Taking a good multi-vitamin mineral formula will help meet your daily vitamin and mineral requirements.
Avoid smoking and limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption.
Overall, a balanced lifestyle that includes regular activity and a healthy nutrition plan with proper nutrient supplemention is the key to Osteoporosis.