Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Osteoporosis: Are You at Risk? Warning Signs

1. You have had one or more fractures in the past 2 years
If you have frequent fractures from injuries that should not have led to a fracture, its a clear sign of thin bones. For example, if you have a fracture just because you stepped off a curb the wrong way, it can be an indication of thin bones. Bring it up to your doctor’s. A bone density test done is a good idea to begin with.

2. You are naturally thin or small-framed
People with small frames or thin bones are more prone to bone thinning. Simply because thin bones and small frames don’t have much to lose. This doesn’t mean that people with larger frames don’t need to worry, keep your diet rich in calcium and protein.

3. You smoke
Smoking, along with numerous other health hazards, is dangerous for bone health. There is no direct relationship between bone thinning and smoking, however statistics suggest a direct correlation between smoking and osteoporosis. If you smoke a lot, you may have put your bones in jeopardy.

Osteoporosis- Are You at Risk? Warning Signs

4. Excess alcohol
Too much alcohol is bad for bone health. Alcohol takes away important nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and other minerals from bones making them weak and thin. If you take more than 2 drinks per day, you are at a greater risk. Women are at a greater risk of bone loss this way but men still suffer from it.

5. Avoiding lactose
Milk is considered fruitful for bones because it contains calcium and because it contains lactose and vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for bone strength and fortified milk is one of the few sources of vitamin D. Statistics show that most Americans are vitamin D deficient. Doctors suggest at least one glass of milk daily as a preventive measure against osteoporosis.

6. Irregular or irrelevant periods (women)
Estrogen is the hormone responsible for regulating periods in women. Dropped levels of estrogen are responsible for missed periods or periods that start and stop frequently. Low levels of estrogen result in bone loss. If your periods are irregular your bones might also be at risk. Low levels of estrogen may be because of several reasons including overexertion and eating disorders.

7. Heredity
If any of your first or second degree relatives were diagnosed with weak bones or osteoporosis, you are likely to have weak bones. If your elders have a history of fractures or poor posture it becomes essential for you to have a diet rich in calcium and vitamins because your bones are at greater risk of becoming thin and weak. It’s a good idea to talk to your parents and grandparents and have a clear understanding of the health history of your family’s bones.

8. You have eating disorder
People who suffer from eating disorders are generally thin and weigh less than normal. Lower weight results in lower hormone levels which leads to deteriorating bone health. Contact your dietician if you have an eating disorder or you are underweight and ask them to prepare a diet chart for you which can help strengthen your bones.

9. Loss of height or stooping
This is caused by compressed fractures in the spine. People often confuse it with back pain which is wrong. This is a sign of weak bones and should immediately be referred to your doctor.

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