The International Osteoporosis Foundation says that 21.2% of women and 6.3% of men over 50 start developing osteoporosis. About 22 million women and 5.5 million men . The number of men and women suffering from osteoporosis rose to 32 million in 2019, in the EU, UK, and Switzerland. The statistics around the disease are alarming, and it’s time to start thinking about .
Osteoporosis is called the silent disease because it doesn’t follow any conventional symptoms. A person can never know about their osteoporosis until they have a bone fracture. The term ‘osteoporosis’ refers to low bone density as reflected on the Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. In simple words, the test shows that your bones have lost their strength.
Till the early 20s, our body can create new bone tissues faster than the breakdown of old ones. Remember that our bone tissues are alive. But after 30, the process of new bone formation continues to slow down. Old bones can even break faster, resulting in fragile and porous bones – thus called osteoporosis.
In women, oestrogen maintains bone strength. But as a woman ages, her oestrogen level decreases, with a significant drop following menopause. The bone strength falls drastically after reaching this age.
Risk factors of getting osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is not bound to any single cause triggering the health condition. You can have weak bones due to several genetic reasons and lifestyle choices, such as:
- You have a family history of osteoporosis or one of your parents has a broken hip.
- Your body mass index is lower than 19, suggesting very low body weight.
- Smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol can reduce bone health drastically.
- Lack of calcium and vitamin D with low physical activity also assists in poor bone health.
- Women are more prone to osteoporosis due to their smaller bone structure and loss of oestrogen after menopause.
- Women who have undergone ovary removal or menopause before 45 are at specific risk.
- Men with low testosterone are also prone to having fragile bones.
- Specific medications like steroids are known to cause bone diseases, so do check with a medical expert before consuming any medicine.
- Certain medical conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, etc. also act as catalysts to poor bone health.
- Additionally, osteoporosis is common in most people above the age of 50.
What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?
Conventional symptoms for early identification of osteoporosis occur in very rare cases. Unfortunately, most people can’t identify their weaker bones until a bone breaks. The most common fractures are in the wrist, hip, and vertebrae. Osteoporosis causes more than 300,000 fractures every year in the UK alone.
However, most people complain of a few problems before getting diagnosed with osteoporosis, such as:
- Severe back pain
- Visible reduction in height due to curving of the spine, mostly causing a stoop
- Weaker grip strength due to low bone mineral density
- Receding gums and naturally brittle fingernails
Getting a fracture with minor falls is the most common way of identifying fragile bones due to osteoporosis. When the bones are weak, they can easily break with normal stress, such as lifting, bending, or in very serious cases, due to coughing.
How to look after your bones from an early age?
As the old proverb goes, precaution is better than cure. Taking responsibility for your bone health from an early age can help retain your strength to a much later age.
Some of the most effective ways of taking care of your bone health and bone mineral density are:
● Increase your calcium intake
Our body uses calcium to build healthy bones and teeth. Women over the age of 50 and men over 70 should consume 1000-1200 mg of calcium daily. They can even opt for calcium supplements to enhance their daily intake.
Food sources rich in calcium include yoghurt, kale, beans, broccoli, low-fat dairy, cereals, and orange juice. People suffering from diabetes should take a doctor’s recommendation before changing their diet.
● Add vitamin D to your diet
Vitamin D helps in increasing the absorption of calcium the bones. It complements your calcium consumption and is mandatory for all those approaching 50 and beyond.
If it’s difficult to source vitamin D from your daily diet, you can also take natural supplements from trusted brands like Authentic Biotics. You can also apply ample sunscreen and move out in the sun to soak in some vitamin D.
● Make space for protein and potassium
An average adult human body needs 3 of potassium to supplement calcium metabolism. But most people fail to achieve this limit. Protein strands also interlock with minerals and calcium to make the bones stronger.
Add more protein and potassium from rich sources like raisins, tomatoes, oranges, bananas, potatoes and different fruits and vegetables.
● Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption
Drinking an excess of coffee or alcohol can directly impact your bone density. It’s for the best to quit drinking or reduce it to occasional engagement. If you’ve already been a drinker, the damage to your bones is still there. To compensate for that, you should start taking calcium and vitamin D supplements so that your bone health is intact even when you age.
● Quit smoking
Smoking and tobacco in any form is very harmful to your bone health. Tobacco consumption also makes bone healing slower.
● Maintain healthy BMI
A healthy body weight is an absolute must-have for maintaining bone health. If you’re underweight or malnourished, your bones are smaller and fragile. At the same time, you have less muscles and fat to cushion your bones during a fall. It’s important to give your body all the nutrients that it needs and build healthy bones.
● Get moving
Regular weight-bearing exercises help increase your bone strength greatly. Weight-bearing exercises are those in which you perform any physical activity that involves putting your body weight on your feet, thus strengthening bones.
Get moving and engage in:
If you’re unable to walk a lot, make sure to take the stairs instead of the lift. Such small modifications can also bring a huge change.
● Avoid falls
A practical way of keeping your bones healthy is to avoid falling down and injuring them in the first place. Make sure to wear good shoes outside and walk on the non-slippery floor.
Always keep your surroundings brightly lit so that you don’t have the risk of tripping. Keep your surroundings clutter-free.
● Include natural supplements in your daily diet
Sometimes, your daily diet is not enough to suffice your body’s calcium, protein and vitamin D necessities. Investing in natural supplements that do not cause any harm to the body is recommended for all.
Authentic Biotics offers a brilliant range of natural supplements that can boost your health without any other impacts. Check out their range of supplements and discuss them with your healthcare expert before starting any medication.
Keeping the bones healthy in old age
With old age, your bones are bound to get brittle and weak. Still, fitness is always a choice. Even after 60, you can opt for moderate-intensity exercises like
- water aerobics,
- dancing, and
- playing doubles tennis.
Instead of entirely giving up on physical activities
- keep moving around with groceries,
- engage in heavy gardening activities like digging,
- take the stairs,
- lift lighter weights, and,
- if possible, practice yoga.
With activities to strike a balance between strength, flexibility and balance, your bone health will significantly improve. You can also check out the natural bone and joint health supplements from Authentic Biotics to assist in maintaining your bone health right from a young age. Consult a medical professional and start incorporating natural bone health boosters into your daily routine.
This is a good stat, do we have anything more recent or can we say in 2010 and is increasing year or year or something like that, has to be factual though.
‘For your bones.’ or ‘start thinking about your bone health.’
You mean ‘into’?
RDA level for potassium in UK is 3,500 mg
Very strong statement. ‘In most cases natural supplements can help maintain bone health even if you’ve faced any injury in the past.’