According to Mayo Clinic, Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones of the body to become very brittle and weak. Osteoporosis occurs as the result of new bones failing to replace old bones. As one gets older, bone mass is lost a lot faster than it is created. The bones can become weak enough to the point where a fracture can occur from falling, bending over, or even coughing. Such fractures can occur in the hip, spine, or wrist.
All men and women are susceptible to getting osteoporosis. However; according to Mayo Clinic, white and Asian women are at highest risk, especially older women.
In order to prevent bones from becoming weak, one can take medications, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise. The likelihood that one can develop osteoporosis depends on how much bone mass one has attained in their youth.
Mayo Clinic states that there are no symptoms in the early stages of Osteoporosis. However, the symptoms that one may experience once their bones have already weakened are the following:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Loss of height over time
- Stooped posture; and
- Bone fracture that occurs frequently
According to Mayo Clinic, a proper diagnosis includes a measurement of bone density by a machine that uses low levels of X-rays to determine the mineral proportion in the bones. This diagnosis consists of a scanner that passes over one’s body as they are laying down. The bones that are typically checked are in the hips, wrist, and spine.
A screening for osteoporosis is recommended for women over the age of sixty-five and for men over the age of seventy. Mayo Clinic states that recommendations for treatment are dependent on how likely a person will break a bone in the next decade using information from the bone density test.
Additionally, there are a few precautions one can take in order to avoid developing osteoporosis. Some suggestions as stated by Mayo Clinic include:
- Avoiding smoking
- Avoiding alcohol; and
- Preventing falls
Lastly, exercise and good nutrition are the key components to maintaining healthy bones throughout one’s lifetime.
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