Do Gender and Weight Cause Osteoporosis?

Do Gender and Weight Cause Osteoporosis?

Women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men, especially after menopause. As a matter of fact, women are two times more likely to fracture or break a bone because of osteoporosis than men.  Some also wonder, ‘do gender and weight cause osteoporosis?’.

Women who get bone density tests are very likely to get results that say they are at a moderate or high risk of developing osteoporosis. The good news is, lifting weights can not only improve bone density but also lower the risk of osteoporosis in women. Indeed, muscle/weight training can increase bone density and reduce your risk of getting osteoporosis drastically.

Losing bone density is a natural part of aging, but weight lifting can, in fact, reverse this process. Bones also weigh a certain amount, and as you get stronger with weight training, your bones, in turn, keep getting stronger as well. Many studies have confirmed that lifting weights can increase bone density.

A multitude of studies that have been conducted about the correlation between women’s increased risk of osteoporosis and weightlifting point to the fact that the more you use your musculoskeletal system, the lower your risk of getting osteoporosis.

One major concern is that with all the diet and cleansing fads, women have been trying out and following significantly unhealthy diets that have in fact been detrimental to their bodies and overall health, increasing their risk of osteoporosis.

However, it is possible to lower your risk of bone diseases, including osteoporosis, with a full-fledged weight training regimen that challenges, and by extension strengthens, your muscles and bones. A healthy diet to supplement your vigorous strength-training regimen is also important as a nutritious, balanced diet rich in calcium, protein, and vitamin D is essential for optimal bone health.

With necessary lifestyle modifications, women can keep osteoporosis at bay, and a healthy diet combined with a strict, challenging strength-training program is an ideal way to increase bone density and strength.

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Living with Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

While getting diagnosed with osteoporosis might seem like the end of the world, it is certainly possible to live a long and normal life. While living with a debilitating condition may have an adjustment period, there are very effective ways to manage symptoms and prevent the condition from having a massive impact on your life. So here are 5 essential tips to live with osteoporosis.

Have a support system

It is important to understand that you are not alone as there are over 40 million people affected in the United States alone. Not only does it take its toll on your bones but also on your emotional health, so it is essential to seek out emotional support from those who know what you go through on a daily basis.

There are many online and in-person support groups, and it is also important to surround yourself with friends and family who understand your condition.

Make dietary modifications

Having a healthy diet is a crucial part of treatment, as your diet can play a major role in maintaining bone health. Make sure your diet is rich in vitamin D and calcium, which you can get from foods like cruciferous vegetables, dairy, soy, sardines, salmon, and nuts. You must also limit your intake of salt as too much salt can further weaken bones.

Get physically active

While osteoporosis can cause pain and impact mobility, it is essential to stay more active than ever to prevent bone density loss and strengthen your bones.

It is important to opt for low-impact activities that are effective but gentle on your joints. You can discuss your exercise options with your physician to avoid injuries.

Understand your limitations

It becomes too easy to fracture or break bones, so it is imperative to understand your motion range and limitations.

Simply bending over a little too far might result in a fracture, so ensure to arrange your living space accordingly to avoid putting unneeded strain on your hips, spine, and wrists.

Break unhealthy habits

Smoking and excess alcohol consumption have detrimental effects on one’s health in many ways, but they also affect bone health. Alcohol can inhibit calcium absorption in the body whereas smoking can contribute to the degeneration of bones.

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What Causes Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious condition in which the bones become so weak and brittle that they can fracture or break easily. Without proper care and treatment, it can lead to serious injuries, chronic back pain, poor posture, and more complications. It is a condition that typically affects the elderly, particularly post-menopausal women.

Osteoporosis Causes

A part of aging is that our bones naturally become weaker and fragile, and the disease can speed up this process. Hence, age is a major factor. Women are also at an increased risk as they naturally have lower bone density than men. Post-menopausal women are especially at a greater risk as their bodies no longer produce as much estrogen.

People who have a family history of osteoporosis are also more likely to develop it. A lack of physical activity can also put one at risk of losing bone density. Some health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, kidney diseases, glandular disease, as well as medications like steroids can also increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Treating Osteoporosis

While lifestyle modifications play a major role in treatment, drugs known as bisphosphonates are typically used to prevent bone density loss and fractures in individuals who are at a high risk of breaking bones. A healthy diet has a pivotal role in maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis from worsening, which is why a diet high in calcium and vitamin D is crucial.

The condition cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be managed and relieved with a combination of medications, regular physical activity, and a healthy diet that promotes bone health. A proper treatment plan along with essential lifestyle modifications can prevent osteoporosis from worsening and leading to more complications.

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Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can be a major health concern characterized by a gradual loss of bone density with a higher risk of fractures and breaks due to the bones becoming weak and brittle. There are also other symptoms of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis weakens the structure of the bones so much that a fall or even a movement as simple as bending over can result in a fracture. Osteoporosis most typically affects the wrists, spine, and hips.

Women and men of all racial backgrounds can develop osteoporosis, but those who are of Asian or Caucasian descent, as well as women who are post-menopausal, are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.

While osteoporosis does not have a cure, a combination of medications, regular exercise, and a balanced diet are important parts of osteoporosis treatment to prevent bone density loss and improve bone strength.

Understanding Osteoporosis Symptoms

When you begin to lose bone density, there is usually no noticeable symptoms until such time your bones have incurred enough damage. As the bones become weaker, the symptoms that may arise are back pain, easy fractures, height loss, and poor posture.

Diagnosing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can be diagnosed by measuring bone density with X-rays, which is pain-free and scans certain parts of the body that osteoporosis typically targets like the wrists, hip, and spine.

Treating Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis treatment is typically determined following the bone density test, depending on an individual’s risk of fractures and breaks over the span of 10 years. In cases where a patient is not at a high risk of breaking a bone in the near future, the goal of their treatment may be focused on eliminating risk factors with lifestyle modifications.

However, there are medications for those who are a high risk of fractures, which are known as bisphosphonates. Some commonly used bisphosphonates are risedronate, alendronate, and ibandronate. These medications also come with side effects such as nausea, heartburn, and stomach pain.

Lifestyle modifications are also an integral part of treating osteoporosis. Having a healthy diet rich in vitamin D and calcium is crucial, as well as regular exercise that strengthens bones. It is also important to quit smoking and avoid consuming alcohol excessively as they both have a detrimental effect on bone health.

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Osteoporosis Prevention

Osteoporosis Prevention

Osteoporosis is a condition that damages and weakens the bones, making fractures and breaks more easily. While bones deteriorate with age on their own, osteoporosis contributes to this process greatly.  Where most health conditions are concerned, it is possible to take certain precautions and preventative measures, and osteoporosis is no different. People who are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis due to risk factors should especially consider being informed on how to prevent bone density loss and by extension osteoporosis. So let’s look at some osteoporosis prevention tips.

Understand Your Risks

While your lifestyle choices play an important role in whether you develop osteoporosis in old age or not, some osteoporosis risk factors are genetic and directly put one at a greater risk of getting osteoporosis.

  • Women and the elderly are at an increased risk of getting osteoporosis, particularly post-menopausal women.
  • People of Caucasian and Asian descent are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
  • A family history of osteoporosis also increases the likelihood of osteoporosis.
  • Individuals who are short and slender are also more prone to osteoporosis.

A Healthy Diet That Promotes Bone Health

Taking in enough calcium is the most significant part of maintaining bone health and strength. Adults need at least 1000-1200 mg of calcium a day. Magnesium is also an essential nutrient for bone health that is abundantly found in cruciferous vegetables and whole grains.

While you may take calcium supplements, it is ideal to consume your recommended daily intake of calcium from foods such as dairy products and vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli.

It is also essential to have a diet high in vitamin D as it promotes healthy bone growth and also plays a role in the absorption of calcium. Adults need at least 600-800 IU of vitamin D per day.

Since your bones are also made up of protein, a sufficient intake of protein is also essential. Adults need at least 45-56 grams of protein per day.

Lifestyle Modifications

– Limit Your Alcohol Intake

While excess alcohol has detrimental effects on your health in a multitude of ways, too much alcohol can also lead to loss of bone density. Too much alcohol consumption can also increase your risk of breaks and fractures by falling.

– Quit Smoking

Smoking also damages many parts of the body in many ways, but it puts you at an increased risk of osteoporosis. If you are a smoker, it is vital to quit as soon as possible.

– Be Physically Active

Getting regular exercise benefits your health in a myriad of ways, and it also promotes bone strength. People who have a sedentary lifestyle are at a higher risk of osteoporosis while those who exercise regularly tend to have better bone density. It is important to exercise at least 30-45 minutes daily and opt for activities such as jogging, skating, dancing, and basketball.

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What is Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones and lessens bone density, resulting in brittle bones that are much more prone to breaks and fractures. The composition of bones is made up of protein, calcium, and collagen, all of which work together to maintain the strength and integrity of the bones to prevent breaks and fractures.

However, when osteoporosis targets the bones, it weakens them, thus allowing them to be able to be damaged and fractured much more easily. The parts of the body that osteoporosis most commonly affects include the wrists, hips, ribs, and spine.

Osteoporosis Symptoms

People can develop osteoporosis without showing any symptoms until such time they experience a break or fracture. Nonetheless, the hallmark osteoporosis symptom is chronic pain, usually at the site of weakening bones.

Osteoporosis symptoms, including fractures and pain, can have an overall impact on a patient’s everyday life and can even result in immobility in severe cases without treatment.

Treating Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis does not have a cure. However, the condition is preventable to a degree and is also treatable. It is important to consult a doctor for an appropriate treatment plan based on your specific case, the severity of your symptoms, and risk factors.

A standard osteoporosis treatment aims to prevent further bone density loss and fractures. Osteoporosis can have a significant impact on patients’ daily life, so going on the right medications to relieve pain, increase bone strength, and prevent further loss of bone density along with making lifestyle changes is imperative.

Having a healthy diet that promotes bone health, meaning high in vitamin D and calcium, and regularly exercising (low-impact activities) are also two important aspects of managing osteoporosis symptoms.

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How Your Diet Can Help Your Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

While most people believe that osteoporosis is an inevitable part of getting old, just as with many other conditions, it is possible to prevent impede bone deterioration and density loss with some lifestyle choices, one of which is a smart diet that promotes bone health.

Here are 5 foods you can incorporate into your diet to potentially prevent or slow down osteoporosis.

Kale

Most leafy, dark green vegetables are full of health benefits and filled with essential nutrients, including calcium. Kale is one of those cruciferous vegetables that have a high content of calcium. The recommended daily calcium intake for adults is 1000 mg, and only 100 grams of kale contains 150 mg of calcium.

Fortified OJ and Cereal

Breakfast musts orange juice and cereal do not contain too much calcium, but fortified orange juice and breakfast cereals can help you get your recommended daily calcium intake much more easily.

Soy

First of all, soy contains isoflavones, which are compounds that promote bone strength. Furthermore, for those who cannot consume dairy for some reason, e.g. lactose intolerance, soy milk is also high in calcium so it makes an excellent alternative source. A cup of soy milk approximately has 300 mg of calcium. Tofu is also an excellent, rich source of calcium.

Salmon

Salmon is not only rich in essential fats like Omega-3 but also high in calcium, which makes it a very important part of any osteoporosis diet. Salmon also contains copious amounts of vitamin D which is required for calcium to be absorbed.

Sardines

Sardines’ smell may be off-putting to some but they are also rich in calcium, with 3 ounces of sardines containing nearly as much calcium as a glass of milk.

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Treating Osteoporosis

Treating Osteoporosis

Affecting nearly 40 million Americans, osteoporosis is a condition that damages the bones, causes them to grow brittle, and can potentially result in chronic pain and a greater risk of broken bones and fractures. Treating osteoporosis can also be a challenge for sufferers.

Osteoporosis most typically affects the wrists, spine, and hips. While osteoporosis cannot be cured, medications, regular exercise, and a balanced, healthy diet can help in managing osteoporosis symptoms and can also prevent the condition from deteriorating and leading to permanent damage.

Doctors typically use the bone density test to put together a treatment plan, which depends on personal risk factors and complications that may arise over the next 10 years. Treating individuals who are not at a high risk of bone damage and density loss usually entails preventing further complications with lifestyle changes and avoiding risk factors.

Osteoporosis Medications

Some of the most common osteoporosis medications used to treat the condition are bisphosphonates. Drugs such as risedronate, zoledronic acid, alendronate, and ibandronate are all bisphosphonates and prevent bone loss. they all work to slow down bone loss.

However, the side effects of bisphosphonates are nausea, stomach pain, and heartburn. Bisphosphonates can also be taken via injections, which can cause a different set of side effects like fever, body pain, and headaches.

Denosumab is another treatment option that is alike bisphosphonates that are taken intravenously bi-yearly and reduces the chance of broken bones and deterioration.

Finally, teriparatide is another medication taken via injections that stimulate bone growth. However, in most cases, individuals typically go on another osteoporosis medication in tandem with teriparatide to protect the integrity of the newly formed bones.

Changing Your Diet

A healthy diet high in Vitamin D and Calcium is a must to manage osteoporosis and prevent it from worsening. Adults require around 1000-1200 mg of calcium and 600 IU of Vitamin D daily.

Some ways you can make sure you have a sufficient intake of Vitamin D and calcium are moderate exposure to the sunlight, consuming low-fat dairy foods, orange juice, leafy green vegetables, and salmon. Taking calcium or vitamin D supplements is also an option, but it is important to get these essential nutrients from your diet.

Hormone Replacement

While hormone replacement therapy is typically reserved to use for menopause, a therapy combining the hormones estrogen and progestin, it has also been shown to preserve bone density and prevent bone fractures.

Although it is important to note that estrogen increases the risk of blood clots and by extension heart disease, as well as breast cancer. Hormone replacement therapy, hence, is typically used in women with osteoporosis who are also going through menopause.

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