Did you know that at the time of our birth, our body has 270 bones? These bones make up our entire skeletal structure. The number of bones in our body goes down until it reaches only 206. The decree in the number of bones in our bodies is because some bones join to form just one bone.
To ensure that our bones are strong enough to carry our body frame, our bodies make use of the element, calcium. As we age, our bodies continually replace our old bones with new ones. In time, such remodeling dwindles down to infrequent occurrences, leading to the production of weaker bones.
How Does That Happen?
Bone composition changes as we physically mature, and it progressively deteriorates with time. The result is that our bones become more brittle, or prone to breaking. This medical condition is now called osteoporosis.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) estimates that osteoporosis affects 25% of men and 50% of women aged 50 and older. The figures represent the number of individuals who break a bone, usually a wrist, hip, arm, or a leg break, because of the medical condition.
What Is The Cause Of Osteoporosis?
Experts are inconclusive as to what causes osteoporosis, but they do cite some factors. These factors include an unhealthy lifestyle, family medical history, old age, intake of medications—as critical ones that contribute to the condition.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Osteoporosis? How Can You Identify Them?
1. Height loss over time
If you notice that you have been shrinking lately, do not ignore it or claim that there has been a mistake on your height measurement. Bone loss might be the cause of such case and as such, merits the attention of a healthcare professional.
2. A bent posture
If you find it hard to straighten your back to support your body frame, it is best to have a doctor check on your bone condition. It may be that your bones are no longer strong enough to hold your back straight.
3. Unexpected bone fracture
If you break a bone on an instance which would normally not lead to a bone fracture, then you should get worried and ask a medical expert to check on your bone composition. It might be that your bones are already brittle, increasing your risk for fractures.
4. Back pain due to a collapsed or fractured vertebra
Frequent back pain should not go neglected. Have an orthopedic doctor check on that as soon as possible.
So Who Are At A Higher Risk Of Having Osteoporosis?
As osteoporosis usually strikes when we reach a certain age, those who have already gone through menopause are more likely to develop this condition. Males aged 50 years and above are also at a risk. Family and individual medical history are also a crucial factor that determines the likelihood of you experiencing the same. For example, you or your parents may have had a hip fracture. Research also shows that osteoporosis is more common among females of Caucasian and Asian descent. Those who have also taken corticosteroids for some time are also more prone to this disease.
Is There Any Treatment Available For Osteoporosis?
Yes. However, science can only go as far as protecting what bone mass you have left and trying to lengthen the life span of your healthy bones. It cannot replace what bone mass you may have already lost. If you are suffering from this condition, it is best to seek advice from your orthopedic or endocrine specialist.
If you are not yet suffering from this condition, always remember that prevention is better than cure. Take supplements which would boost calcium absorption in your body. Natural supplements such as Lysine which is available in the market are a great help in keeping your bones as healthy as possible.