What exactly is Osteoporosis? Its a disease of the bones. It makes the bones so brittle and weak than even mild stresses like bending and sneezing can lead to serious fractures. The fractures generally occur but are not limited to the hips, wrist and spine.
Bone is basically a living tissue which is constantly being broken and formed anew. Osteoporosis occurs when this “rejuvenation” process is slower than the breaking down of bone tissues. Loss of bone mass is aggravated after menopause due to lower levels of estrogen. Osteoporosis may also occur due to a number of diseases or treatments including alcoholism, anorexia, hyperthyroidism and kidney disease. Certain medications also hasten the bone loss process like antiseizure medicines, chemotherapy, proton pump and steroids.
It gets increasingly more common with age. Caucasians have a 15% chance of developing osteoporosis for people who are in their 50s and around 70% chance for those who are above the age of 80. It can affect any racial group of people but generally it is observed that White and Asian people are more prone to it than others.
In the early stages of Osteoporosis, typically there are no symptoms. With gradual weakening of bones, the symptoms begin to manifest. Back pain or pain in joins in general, a stooped structure due to weakening of spine, recurrent bone fractures even due to lightest of stresses.
The main risk of bone fracture increases many-folds. Osteoporotic fractures occur in situations where healthy people would not have generally broken a bone. They are regarded as fragility fractures. Typical areas for fragility fractures are hips, vertebral column, rib and wrist.
Osteoporic fractures can be asymptomatic (with no apparent symptoms) like vertebral collapse. Multiple vertebral fractures lead to stooped posture, loss of height and gradual reduction in mobility.
Our bones are living tissue which are in a constant state of renewal. New bones are being made to replenish the old broken down ones. When the body is young, this procedure of rejuvenation is faster than compared to the rate of breakage. The peak bone mass of the body is achieved by the time we are 20 years of age in most cases.
With gradual increase in age, the process of creating new bone mass slows down. This also depends upon a lot of factors like diet, lifestyle, amount of physical labour etc. The likelihood of developing osteoporosis depends upon how much bone mass the body has attained in its youth. Higher bone mass is always beneficial and it will make it less likely to get osteoporosis.
There are certain risk factors which determine the possibility of osteoporosis. There are as follows:
Sex: Women are much more prone to develop osteoporosis than compared to men.
Age: The older the age, the higher the risk since the body processes that help repair bones slows down with age.
Body Size: Men and woman who have smaller bodies are more at risk since they will have lesser amount to bone mass to draw from.
Thyroid Levels: Excessive thyroid in body can lead to bone loss.
Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle can lead to higher risk of osteoporosis. Those who partake in physical activities are less likely to develop it than those who don’t indulge in physical work and just sit at a place.
The diagnosis is done using radiography and by measuring the bone mineral density (BMD). There are several ways to measure the BMD but the most popular one is “Dual-Energy X-Ray Absoptiometry”
Conventional radiography is useful, both by itself and in conjunction with CT or MRI, for detecting complications of osteopenia (reduced bone mass), such as fractures; for differential diagnosis of osteopenia; or for follow-up examinations in specific clinical settings, such as soft tissue calcifications, secondary hyperparathyroidism, or osteomalacia in renal osteodystrophy. However, radiography is relatively insensitive to detection of early disease and requires a substantial amount of bone loss (about 30%) to be apparent on X-ray images.
The main radiographic features of generalized osteoporosis are cortical thinning and increased radiolucency. Frequent complications of osteoporosis are vertebral fractures for which spinal radiography can help considerably in diagnosis and follow-up. Vertebral height measurements can objectively be made using plain-film X-rays by using several methods such as height loss together with area reduction, particularly when looking at vertical deformity in T4-L4, or by determining a spinal fracture index that takes into account the number of vertebrae involved. Involvement of multiple vertebral bodies leads to kyphosis of the thoracic spine, leading to what is known as dowager’s hump.
This is the most widely used method for measuring Bone Mineral Density. Osteoporosis is said to be diagnosed when the bone mineral density is less or equal to 2.5 standard deviation of that of a young adult.
Home Remedies For Osteoporosis
We have selected some of the best natural remedies for osteoporosis for you. Listed below are some of the safest and best home remedies for osteoporosis, easy to use and simple to get.
Aside from their wonderful taste, apples are effective combatants against osteoporosis. They have a chemical known as Boron which is imperative in holding on or rather absorbing calcium in the body. Calcium is the chief ingredient or constituent of human bones. Its also a mild estrogen replacement and losing estrogen speeds up bone loss. It is one of the best natural remedies for osteoporosis.
Studies have shown that diets high in potassium are good for stronger and healthier bones. Banana has high potassium content. Use them as a great natural remedies for osteoporosis.
Vitamin C is necessary for the body processes that build up bones. Having ample amount of this vitamin is necessary for healthier bones. Drinking a glass on orange juice after work out is the best. One of the healthiest and best natural remedies for osteoporosis.
The lactose, or sugar, in yogurt, has already been broken down, so even many people who are lactose intolerant can eat it and get the benefits of the high calcium content. Eat it with fresh fruit or substitute it for sour cream in recipes. It is one of the best natural remedies for osteoporosis.
Regular exercise is absolutely necessary for keeping the bones and muscles fit. Weight lifting exercises help in strengthening the muscles which in turn will help the bones to get strong.
Natural remedies for osteoporosis are simple to use and effective to apply. Simply use them regularly, and see the improvement in your health.