Symptoms of osteoporosis do not occur in the early stages of the disease

Symptoms of osteoporosis do not occur in the early stages of the disease

Symptoms of osteoporosis stem from the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disease. There are currently an estimated 10 million Americans suffering from osteoporosis, as well as another 18 million who have low bone mass, or osteopenia.

Osteoporosis occurs when the body fails to form enough new bone, or when too much old bone is reabsorbed by the body, or both.

Calcium and phosphate are two minerals that are essential for normal bone formation. Throughout youth, the body uses these minerals to produce bones. If calcium intake is not sufficient, or if the body does not absorb enough calcium from the diet, bone production and bone tissues may suffer.

As people age, calcium and phosphate may be reabsorbed back into the body from the bones, which makes the bone tissue weaker.

Both situations can result in symptoms of osteoporosis indicating brittle, fragile bones that are subject to fractures, even in the absence of trauma.

Usually, the loss occurs gradually over years. Many times, a person will sustain a fracture before becoming aware that the disease is present. By the time this occurs, the disease is in its advanced stages and the damage is profound.

The leading causes are a drop in estrogen in women at the time of menopause, and a drop in testosterone in men. Women, especially those over the age of 50, get osteoporosis more often than men.

Other causes include corticosteroid excess from Cushing's syndrome, hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, being confined to a bed, and bone cancers.

Researchers estimate that about 20% of American women over the age of 50 have symptoms of osteoporosis. In addition, another 30% of them have osteopenia, which is abnormally low bone density that may eventually deteriorate into osteoporosis, if not treated.

About half of all women over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture of the hip, wrist, or vertebra.

Women who are white, especially those with a family history of symptoms of osteoporosis, have a greater risk of developing the condition. Other risk factors include smoking, eating disorders, low body weight, low amount of calcium in the diet, heavy alcohol consumption, early menopause, absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea), and use of certain medications, such as steroids and anticonvulsants.

Symptoms of osteoporosis

Symptoms of osteoporosis occurring late in the disease include:

  • Fractures of the vertebrae, wrists, or hips (usually the first indication)
  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Bone pain or tenderness
  • Loss of height over time
  • Stooped posture

Preventing the symptoms of osteoporosis

Calcium is essential for building and maintaining healthy bone. Vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium, is also essential. To get these and other important nutrients throughout life, make sure to keep an overall healthy and a well-balanced diet. A daily intake of health supplements should be considered as a complement.

To help prevent osteoporosis, don't smoke, and avoid drinking excess alcohol.

Regular exercise can prevent bone fractures. Exercises where muscles pull on bones cause the bones to retain, and possibly gain, density.

Our personal approach to prevent symptoms of osteoporosis


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