Osteoporosis: Averting bone fracture

Osteoporosis: Averting bone fracture

Osteoporosis simply means the weakening of the bones. This condition occurs slowly, painlessly and silently. And it is known to be a worldwide problem. Bones of the body that are firmly strong gradually become fragile and weak, and their interior becomes soft and as a result bones become more
liable to break. This has resulted in spinal and hip fractures that are often deadly and disabling. Normally, bones continue to grow in thickness and strength until around age 36 and then this particular process begins to reverse itself resulting in loss of small amount of bones each year. These lost bones if not adequately replenished results in osteoporosis. It has been noted that women experience this loss of small amount of bones more than men especially after menopause and coupled with the presence of risk factors, bone loss continues even faster and osteoporosis may develop.
Without the assistance of a medical professional, osteoporosis cannot be detected except when there is already a fracture in the bones. In order to prevent shrinking in the height of bones, early diagnosis is often encouraged and this can be done in medical centres. Some factors can predispose an individual to developing osteoporosis and these factors have been implicated. Factors to be tested include: alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes use, excessive use of corticosteroids, early menopause, motionless lifestyle etc.
Different kinds of methods can be applied in the treatment of osteoporosis. They include the following:

  1. Calcium: Increase in the intake of foods with calcium can be a great treatment for osteoporosis. The recommended calcium intake a day is at 800 to 1500mg. 
  2. Exercise: This is very vital because without exercise, bones will not strengthen and thicken. In order to retain essential minerals, bones of the body need to be engaged, pushed, pressed, and even twisted. 
  3. Avoid smoking: This habit once dropped can do the bones of the body a big favour. 
  4. Vitamin D: The body uses vitamin D in the absorption of calcium. Africans have major advantage in this cause because of the fact that they receive sufficient sun exposure. 
  5. Decrease the amount of salt, caffeine and animal protein intake in the foods: The lifestyle of consumption of foods that are high in animal protein, salt and caffeine causes calcium to be leached from the bones through urine. These lifestyles occasionally induce calcium losses which are detrimental to the bones and which in most cases override any amount of calcium swallowed or consumed. 
  6. Oestrogen therapy: When this type of treatment is employed, it helps in the slowing down of bone loss but often increases the risk of gall bladder disease, uterine and breast cancer, blood clots etc. This method can also worsen hypertension and diabetes.

It has been found that daily active exercise and a healthy diet that is low in salt, caffeine, phosphorus and animal protein can prevent the development of osteoporosis. Also foods that are high in calcium and low in protein are recommended such as coconut, bread, spinach, beans, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables etc.  

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