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What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is characterized by the degeneration of bone density over time. While arthritis osteo (better known as osteoarthritis) is often confused with osteoporosis, they are not the same thing. While osteoporosis symptoms are most likely to strike women after menopause, it’s entirely possible for anyone to get osteoporosis at any point in time. What happens is that the bones lose minerals faster than the body can replace them, which causes a dangerous thinning of the bone tissue and a reduction in density. Most people have a far easier time using the calcium that they get from food and replacing bone tissue when they are younger, and their ability to use the calcium that they get from food and use it properly is greatly decreased with age. This inability to properly absorb calcium causes the body to pull even more of it from the bones in order to use it throughout the body, making a lack of calcium doubly dangerous with age. When it comes to health osteoporosis can be extremely dangerous.
What is the Cause of Osteoporosis?
There is no clear cause of osteoporosis, but the symptoms osteoporosis causes are more likely to occur in women that are past menopause. Osteoporosis symptoms in women are more common, and often more advanced than in men. This has led people to think that, perhaps, what causes osteoporosis could be linked to hormones or hormone fluctuations. Whatever causes osteoporosis, osteoporosis symptoms and signs start out subtle, but can become frighteningly advanced. While it would be a wonderful advancement to discover the causes of osteoporosis, for the moment we must continue to focus on how to prepare for it and the treatment for osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Signs and Symptoms
One of the issues with the symptoms of osteoporosis is that, early on or during the onset of osteopenia, there aren't any. People won't feel bone pain, even though their bones are degenerating, until something fractures. Some later symptoms of osteoporosis is, indeed, the increased risk of fractures, as well as that trademark shrinking and/or slump that people tend to get due to multiple tiny fractures in their spine.
One of the most important things to remember about osteoporosis treatment is that prevention is always better than trying to deal with the problem once it exists. The best thing that a person can do for their skeletal system to prevent having to go through later treatments for osteoporosis is to make sure that they get enough calcium when they are young. This helps to insure that their bones are as strong as possible while their bodies are still absorbing calcium in an efficient manner, which then means that their bones will take longer to break down to a dangerous point when they are no longer able to utilize calcium in the same manner. The truth is, though, that many young people don’t have a diet that fully supports their future health. This means that people need to try to find adequate osteoporosis treatment later in life. While there is no cure osteoporosis is treatable through certain medications and lifestyle changes.
Osteoporosis and treatment
The types of treatment osteoporosis requires and varied and encompass a person's lifestyle as a whole. To increase bone density osteoporosis sufferers need to be sure to eat the right foods, preform the right exercises, and talk to their doctor about medication and supplements.
There are certain medications and supplements that have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of osteoporosis. One of these, called strontium ranelate, is a patented form of strontium that has fared quite well in lab tests, but hasn't yet been approved by the FDA. It has, however, been cleared for medical use in a number of other countries, including the United Kingdom.
Diet is yet another component of lifestyle that has a strong effect on osteoporosis. Beyond the obvious effects of obesity on the skeletal system of a person with osteoporosis, or the effects of malnutrition on a body that needs all the calcium and strong musculature it can get, there are foods that help a person to keep their body in peak condition, and can help the body to absorb the calcium that it needs to repair bones.
One of the most important osteoporosis treatments is following a solid exercise regime. Regardless of what cause osteoporosis, exercise can be extremely beneficial. The right exercise can strengthen not only the muscular system surrounding bones, but also the bones themselves. While exercise can be extremely beneficial to people with osteoporosis, it can also be dangerous. High impact activities can greatly increase the risk of fractures, so it's important to stick to very low impact exercises, and to consult a doctor and/or a physical therapist before embarking on a new osteoporosis exercise regime.