Recognising the early signs of osteoporosis and how to prevent it
Believe it or not Osteoporosis is among the most common health complaints for women over 30, however, osteoporosis often occurs without any noticeable symptoms, and so by the time you have a fracture, feel pain, or develop curvature of the spine, it may already be present.
What causes osteoporosis?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Your bones are in a constant state of renewal — new bone is made and old bone is broken down. When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone and your bone mass increases. Most people reach their peak bone mass by their early 20s. As people age, bone mass is lost faster than it’s created.”
How to notice it?
As mentioned above, there are typically are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. However, once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may have signs and symptoms that include:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebre
- Loss of height over time
- A stooped posture
- A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected
There are some steps you can take in order to prevent or reduce the risk of suffering from osteoporosis as you enter your 30’s.
How to prevent it?
Some risk factors you are unable to control, your age, sex, family history, and race, all play a part in making you more or less likely to develop osteoporosis.
However, there are some factors you can control.
- Eat enough calcium. A low calcium intake will lead to weaker bones and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
- Don’t restrict your diet. If you restrict your diet too much you will strip yourself of essential nutrients. Fad diets and extreme weight loss can lead to increased chance of developing osteoporosis.
- Get active. Any weight-bearing exercise and activities that promote balance and good posture are beneficial for your bones, but walking, running, jumping, dancing and weightlifting seem particularly helpful.
- Cut back on the amount of alcohol you drink. Consuming more than 2 drinks a day increases your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Foods rich in calcium include milk, nuts, cheese, kale, and even sardines.
A simple healthy diet and exercise is the best way to prevent or reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
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