Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that can lead to deadly consequences in seniors. Yet, it is often underdiagnosed. There seems to be a lack of awareness about the disease among the older population and not many educational programs have been made about what causes it and how it can be prevented in seniors. Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, getting timely treatment can help to strengthen and protect the bones. Learn about what causes osteoporosis in seniors and how it can be prevented.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Aging can bring about the onset of osteoporosis because as we advance in age, we begin to lose bone density. Osteoporosis is bone loss or the loss of bone mass and density. With that, bones can easily break when you have a fall. Aging adults are more prone to suffering from osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis often suffer fractures in the spine, hip and wrists. In severe cases, breaking into a sneeze might even cause a bone to break! Hip fractures caused by osteoporosis are a serious issue for seniors because mortality rates greatly increase after a hip fracture, especially among men.
Factors Leading to Osteoporosis
Women’s bone loss accelerates massively during menopause because of the reduction in the levels of estrogen. At one point, of the 100 million Americans who have osteoporosis, eighty percent were female. On the other hand, men who have osteoporosis are more likely to suffer from fractures that prove fatal.
Aside from aging, other reasons that can put our family members at risk of developing osteoporosis include having a family history of osteoporosis, unhealthy habits such as smoking and lack of regular physical exercise, a diet that is low in calcium and Vitamin D, excessive caffeine intake and long-term use of medication such as cortisone and anticonvulsants.
Prevention is better than cure! If you or your loved ones are at risk of getting osteoporosis, there are some things you can do to promote good bone health.
We all know that calcium is essential for bone development and growth but many people do not realize that Vitamin D is an important nutrient as well. Vitamin D is needed for the body to properly absorb calcium. Seniors are advised to take 1200mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D a day.
Exercising regularly or carrying out physical activities can result in stronger bones. Weight-bearing exercises like brisk walking, dancing, hiking and workout regimes that boost balance are all great activities we can do to reduce the chances of falling and fracturing our bones.
By quitting smoking, you can also prevent osteoporosis. People who smoke usually have faster rates of bone degeneration. This is especially so for women who have entered their menopausal stage. If you feel that you are at risk of suffering from osteoporosis, we encourage you to turn to your trusted medical practitioner and seek professional help.