Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bone tissue throughout the body begins to thin and bone density is lost over a period of time. There are no symptoms of osteoporosis during the earliest stages of the disease. Symptoms of the disease in its later stages can include fractures that occur very easily, loss of height, pain or tenderness in the bones, low back pain which is due to fractures in the spinal bones, stopped posture and neck pain which is due to spinal bone fracture. When diagnosed with osteoporosis, treatment methods may include control of the pain caused from the disease, preventing further bone loss, medicines that are designed to strengthen the bones to prevent further fractures and minimizing the risk of falling to prevent further fractures.
Preventative measures are often the best course of treatment. There are many ways that you can prevent osteoporosis beginning with lifestyle changes that can help you to preserve your bone mass before the disease strikes. Building strong bones is important at any age, particularly so for women past the age of 30. Osteoporosis prevention is very possible for most patients. Since there currently is no cure for the disease, prevention is the best way to avoid the pain and discomfort that comes along with it. It is important to understand that there is not just one step that will prevent osteoporosis. There are a number of things that you will need to do and you should be certain to practice all of the preventative steps in order to stop the disease before it can do damage to your body.
The first thing that you should do to prevent osteoporosis is to ensure that you get the recommended amounts of calcium daily. Calcium is very important in preserving bone density as well as helping the heart, nerves and muscles to function properly. It is recommended that adults under the age of 50 get 1,000 mg of Calcium every day to maintain healthy bones. Those over the age of 50 should get at least 1,200 mg daily. It may be very difficult to get your recommended daily amount of Calcium from your diet alone. Fortunately, there are a number of supplements that can help you to ensure that you are getting your recommended daily amount.
Vitamin D is also important in preventing osteoporosis. Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium correctly. If you are not getting the daily recommended allowance of vitamin D, your body simply will not absorb the Calcium that you are getting and will take Calcium from your bones in order to support proper functioning of the heart, nerves and muscles. Adults under 50 should get 400 to 800 IU of Vitamin D each day. Those over 50 should get at least 800 to 1,000 IU daily. Vitamin D supplements are readily available and many calcium supplements now have the needed amounts of Vitamin D in them to help the body to better absorb Calcium. Vitamin D can also be found in egg yolks, liver, saltwater fish and fortified milk.
Exercise is very important for maintaining healthy bones and an overall healthy lifestyle. If you are inactive, your bones will be weak and will fracture much more easily. Exercises recommended for the prevention of osteoporosis include many weight bearing exercises like dancing, jogging, walking and many racquet sports such as tennis and racquet ball. These exercises are crucial for helping you to build stronger bones and protect yourself from fractures. Women in menopause are often advised by their doctors to begin weight bearing exercises in order to reduce the risks of Osteoporosis.
There are many medications that can aid in osteoporosis prevention as well. These medications are used to prevent as well as treat the disease. Your doctor will have more information about the various medications that are available and which one will be best for your individual needs. A Bone Mineral Density test or BMD test will be performed to check your risk for Osteoporosis if your doctor feels it is needed. This test is the only way to diagnose the disease and determine your specific risk for bone loss or future fractures. Early diagnosis of the disease is crucial in preserving bone density. The BMD test will measure your bone mass or density and determine your need for medications or other preventative measures that will help you to preserve or rebuild your bone mass. A BMD test is very accurate and is completely painless.