Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens your bones, making them weaker and more prone to breaking. It’s a silent disease that you might not know you have until you break a bone. Osteoporosis is like the adult version of chicken pox – once you catch it, the only way to get rid of it is to take care of yourself and take preventive measures for the rest of your life. A third of Americans over the age of 50 will develop osteoporosis. The good news is that there are ways to reduce your risk and strengthen your bones. Here’s everything you need to know about preventing osteoporosis so that you can live well into old age without worrying about breaking a bone from something as simple as sneezing or falling from standing up too fast from a chair.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become brittle, weak, and more likely to break. It is the most common bone disease in the United States, affecting 10 million people. Women are at greater risk than men because their spines have less bone mass than men and undergo natural bone loss with menopause. Treatment for osteoporosis is aimed at preventing future fractures and improving quality of life. Although treatment for osteoporosis can reduce the risk for fractures, it does not restore bones that have been lost due to the disease. Osteoporosis does not cause pain. It is a silent disease, and people may not know that they have osteoporosis until they break a bone.
Why Does Your Body Need Calcium?
Calcium is an essential mineral that is involved in many things in the body, including helping your bones and teeth stay strong. Calcium is stored in your bones and teeth, where it works to give them structure and support. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body will take it from your bones, which weakens them and makes them more prone to breaking. You lose about a teaspoon of calcium every year after the age of 30, and you need to maintain a healthy calcium intake if you want to prevent osteoporosis. The best way to do this is by getting enough calcium from your diet.
How do you know if you have Osteoporosis?
You can find out if you have osteoporosis by taking a bone density test. This test will reveal if you have low bone density, but it unfortunately doesn’t tell you if you have osteoporosis. But if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, you will need to be extra diligent about taking preventive measures, because there are no cures for these diseases.
Preventing osteoporosis is better than treating it, and luckily there are many ways to do so. Eating a balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, protein, and potassium, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and limiting your alcohol intake will help you maintain healthy bones and avoid osteoporosis.
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