Osteoporosis Symptoms & Vitamin D

Many people think that Osteoporosis (porous bone) is a disease that only woman suffer from, this however is not true. Men can also suffer from osteoporosis but the risk is greater in woman. One out of every two women and one in four men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. Osteoporosis is the deterioration of bone tissue and low bone mass and this condition may cause an increased risk of bone fractures. The risk of osteoporosis can be reduced with lifestyle changes, medication and exercise.

Symptoms

Osteoporosis can be present in the body for a long time without one even knowing, due to the lack of symptoms. Osteoporosis does not really have any specific symptoms as it its main consequence is the increased risk of bone fracture. Most typical osteoporosis related fractures occur in the vertebral column, rib, hip and wrist. That is why it is so important for people who suffer from osteoporosis to be careful and mind how they walk, pick up and move heavy objects.

Causes

There are a number of contributing factors that may lead to osteoporosis. Excessive alcohol abuse, especially at a younger age can increase your risk. Soft drink (sodas) studies have indicated that soft drinks may increase the risk of osteoporosis as they contain phosphoric acid. A vitamin D deficiency which is especially common in the elderly, can also lead to osteoporosis because adequate amounts of calcium are not being absorbed. Proper nutrition plays a fundamental role in healthy bones. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, fluoride, copper, vitamins A, K, E,D are all needed to maintain healthy bones, and people who are malnourished are lacking in these various vitamins and minerals. Excessive exercise may lead to constant damage of the bones which can cause exhaustion in the repair process. Exercise should always be accompanied by the right vitamin/mineral supplements.

Diagnosis

It is quite easy for a physician to pick up if you suffer from osteoporosis. Your bone mineral density (BMD) is measured using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. This procedure is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. The test is performed by passing low energy x-rays through a bone such as the hip, spine or wrist. The test is painless and is associated with very limited radiation exposure. Doctors may also perform blood tests to see if there are any underlying causes to your osteoporosis, such as bone cancer.

Treatment

Once you have been properly diagnosed and all your medical history has been taken into consideration, your doctor will be able to prescribe you the medication which is best suited for your body’s needs. Most osteoporosis medications are classified as bone anabolic agents and their job is to build bones. Medication along with exercise and proper nutrition is now what your body needs. Research has shown that specific weight training exercises are the best for maintaining or increasing bone mineral density but not if any fractures are present. Walking, aerobics, stepping, jumping, endurance and strength exercises all have results in significant increases of BMD in postmenopausal woman with osteoporosis.