Osteoporosis puts you at risk for a variety of health problems and injuries. If you haven’t had a bone density test, it may be time to see your doctor for a checkup. Prevention is the best way to head off osteoporosis problems that can impact your health and lifestyle.
The main cause of osteoporosis is thinning bones. If you are a female over the age of 65, you are at greater risk for osteoporosis. Other risk factors include low body weight, menopause, certain medications, smoking, drinking, and family history. Doctors and health experts recommend that all women over the age of 65, as well as younger postmenopausal women, should have a bone density test to check bone strength. A bone density test can diagnose osteoporosis by detecting porous and thinning bones. It’s a quick, painless test that uses x-rays to show the amount of calcium and minerals in your bones. Since osteoporosis is a silent health condition without symptoms, you may not even know you have it until you fracture or break a bone.
Although osteoporosis is a silent condition, there are warning signs that you should watch out for. Fractures of the wrists, hips or spine, sudden backaches, a stooped posture, and gradual loss of height can signal osteoporosis. Serious complications can develop from fractures and broken bones, especially bones in the spine. There are numerous small bones in the spine or vertebrae that can fracture causing the spine to compress. When this happens, pressure is put on internal organs, including the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Spinal compression can result in a severe rounding or hump in the upper back.
Prevention and treatment for osteoporosis includes regular exercise, calcium and vitamin D, and osteoporosis medications. Starting on a regimen of calcium and vitamin D in ecological formulas is a quick, easy, affordable way to prevent osteoporosis. Walking and weight bearing exercises have been shown to decrease bone loss and promote stronger bones. If you are in the high risk category for osteoporosis, talk to your doctor about a bone density test to diagnose the condition and a vitamin and exercise program to build stronger bones.