80% of over 44 million Americans that experience osteoporosis are women. Osteoporosis is a disease where calcium on bones are lost making them brittle and soft. It is an accelerating condition, wherein bones become more fragile in time, posture changes, and develop a high risk to bone cracks. Osteoporosis hails from a Latin word that means “porous bones”.
Women are more prone to osteoporosis than men because of the hormonal differences. Bone mass decline in women usually begins at the ages after thirty and thirty five. When they reach the age in between fifty five and seventy, normally 30 to 40 percent of bone mass is lost.
There are no symptoms associated with bone loss. It is usually common for unsuspecting victims to realize that they have osteoporosis until they have broken their bones, wrist or hip from only a minor accident. Osteoporosis weakens the bones to such a level that even a hug can crack or break the rib. In the final stages of osteoporosis, the spinal column experiences reduction fractures, resulting to height loss. I myself witnessed this in my mother and other women in my family. They seemed to get shorter every year and had a little curve to the upper back. We didn’t realize what it was back then, and just attributed it to getting older, so it was left untreated.
Generally, there are two kinds of osteoporosis. The first type of osteoporosis is due to hormonal changes such as loss of estrogen. The second type of osteoporosis is due to calcium and Vitamin D deficiency.
Even though osteoporosis has relatively no symptoms until it is advanced, there are some early warning signs. So, be aware of any changes in height, a stooping or rounding of the shoulders, and generalized aches and pains.
Osteoporosis can hit anyone, no matter what the age, sex and race. One in every two women and two in every four men, with ages above fifty, will be inflicted with a fracture in their lifetime. A roughly huge amount of $18 billion is the health treatment costs on fractures caused by osteoporosis in 2002 and still continues to rise. You are at risk of osteoporosis if you are over fifty with a history of a fracture, being female, if there is family history of osteoporosis, if you have a small frame, if there is an estrogen deficiency resulting from early or surgery induced menopause, calcium and vitamin D deficiency, low testosterone levels in men, an inactive lifestyle, or use of alcohol and tobacco products.
If you doubt that you are in danger of having osteoporosis, consult your doctor to ascertain the best option for your health. Your doctor may advise you to do weight bearing exercises, eat a balance diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, take bone density examination and medication if needed, and live a healthy lifestyle. A medical doctor may suggest wearing a back/shoulder brace to protect your back and uniform distribution of body weight during the advance stages of osteoporosis. To prevent osteoporosis during its early stages, take a bone density test.