Karen Turner PHD | Baby Boomers Guide to Osteoporosis
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Baby Boomers Guide to Osteoporosis

Baby Boomers Guide to Osteoporosis

By Boomeryearbook.com

Our bones weaken when the protein and collagen content becomes fewer in number. Bone density decreases, making our bones porous and sponge-like. The reason for this decrease in bone mass is the slowed down activity or inactivity of estrogen (in women) and androgen (in men), which dictates the rate of the bone-building process in the body. Osteoporosis is a common health concern among adults since it can be a source of debilitating conditions. Proper awareness and knowledge of the disease can help us prevent and address this health threat.

Bone density or bone mass develops during childhood. The ossification process is completed at age twenty five; a maintenance phase follows for about ten years; and a bone activity recession happens after this phase. Both men and women lose approximately 0.3 to 0.5% of their bone mass each year as a part of the aging process.

One of the difficulties of osteoporosis is that in its early stages, it lacks definite symptoms. Sometimes it is not recognized and checked until after it has progressed and a slip or relatively minor traumatic event results in a bone fracture. Diagnostic measures include the use of bone densitometers, and the dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. Standard X-ray procedures can help detect osteoporosis but bone density is typically 30% decreased by the time it appears on this procedure. Bone density testing is highly recommended to: (1) all women aged 55 years and above, (2) postmenopausal women below 65 who have risk factors for osteoporosis, and (3) women with medical conditions linked to osteoporosis.

The risk factors for osteoporosis include gender (female), race (Caucasian and Asian), body built (ectomorphs), familial history of the disease, history of traumatic injuries, cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, low-calcium diet, amenorrhea, chemotherapy, and Vitamin D deficiency. Some of the medical conditions that predispose an individual to it are Turner’s and Klinefelter’s syndrome, anorexia nervosa, Cushing’s syndrome, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, acromegaly, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Proper diet and appropriate exercises are included in the treatment plan. Dietary considerations include ample amounts of dietary Calcium and Vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial to the diet since it allows calcium to be properly absorbed and used by the body. Exercises can range from aerobic to strengthening and weight-bearing. Regular exercise helps one to develop muscle strength and coordination to prevent falls and fractures. Walking, jogging, and step aerobics are easily doable activities, and sports are also encouraged as per your physician’s recommendation.

Pharmacologic treatments include biphosphonates, teriparatide and strontium ranelate. Calcium supplements are also recommended. Estrogen replacement therapy is also a treatment of choice. Estrogen is both orally and topically (as a skin patch) administered.

Lifestyle changes must also be included as preventative and palliative measures. Home structural modifications, such as handrails in bathtubs, can facilitate joint conservation techniques and lessen the risks of falls.

Our bones are the framework of our body and the issues concerning osteoporosis should not be overlooked. It is best that we prevent it if possible, or present ourselves for treatment when positively diagnosed.

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