Women who have gone through menopause are at a much higher risk of suffering from osteoporosis than those women who are yet to reach that stage. There are a number of reasons why as well as preventive steps that can be taken to avoid osteoporosis which we shall discuss briefly.
Oestrogen, the female hormone that is abundant at the younger stages of a woman’s life begins to drop postmenopause. Oestrogen is the hormone that, among other things, is vital for bone building and the density of bones. So once its levels in the female body reduce, a woman is more likely to start suffering the early onset of osteoporosis, known as osteopenia. In fact, within the first 5 years of menopause, a woman may lose up to 10% of bone mass.
A woman’s bone mass peaks between the ages of 25-30. If at this time her bone mass is not ideal, then she will be at a very high risk of osteoporosis in the postmenopausal period. It is very important to start taking care of your physical wellbeing from early stages of life before suffering its effects later when the chances of recuperation are much slower, and the process much more painful.
If you are in the postmenopausal period of life and have still not noticed any signs of osteoporosis or its predecessor, osteopenia, then first and foremost visit a doctor and get a bone density scan done and follow the instructions of your doctor.
Diet plays an extremely important role in the health of your bones. True, there is a hormonal imbalance post menopause, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to stay that way or that one should succumb to its effects. Eating foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D will help in the upkeep of bones for a longer period of time. Drink a lot of milk and take supplements that are rich in the aforementioned minerals and vitamins as recommended by your doctor. Make sure that you reduce processed foods. Cheese might seem like a good idea as this milk product is rich in calcium, but eating industrially manufactured cheese will do little to strengthen bones. It is now widely known that the fresher and more natural your food is, the better it will support your health.
Exercise is also extremely important. Going to the gym and working on weights is good for muscles, but it will not help with bone density. It is imperative for one to go on a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes 5 times or more in a week and do so in nature rather than indoors. The early morning sun as well is rich with vitamin D which plays an important role in strengthening bones.
It is never too late to make a change to your lifestyle because it goes a long way in overall health and wellbeing. When it comes to bone strength, preventing the on-set of osteoporosis isn’t difficult, if one keeps up a healthy lifestyle. If one is already suffering with osteoporosis or its earlier stages, reversing it is hard, but still possible. Always have a trusted doctor handy and support around you as well as you work hard to get your health back on track.
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While there could be a number of reasons why people suffer from ostepenia and osteoporosis, one of the main factors is due to their lifestyle. Here are a few suggestions on lifestyle changes that could help mitigate the occurrence of osteoporosis and probably keep its predecessor, osteopenia, at bay.
First of all, diet plays a major part. Different places around the world have different cuisines and key ingredients, but there is one major factor in a traditional kitchen – they all use fresh produce. When eating something that is fresh, you are guaranteed majority of their vitamins and minerals that they boast of. Keeping consumption of meat on a low is important and eating calcium-rich foods is a necessity. There are some diets that don’t allow dairy products, which are the main contributing foods that have calcium, but you can always supplement them with another food or take tablets that are packed with calcium, after consulting with your doctor. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated and carbonated beverages because they erode bone mass. To cut a long story short, eat fresh and have a calcium-rich diet to beat osteopenia and osteoporosis.
There are other two factors that contribute to bone health – exercise and vitamin D. So putting them both together, here is a good tip that can keep osteopenia and osteoporosis at bay. The early morning sun is the best time to get Vitamin D as it is the richest source for it. At the same time, going for walks also help to strengthen bones. So going for an early morning walk is a way to get the benefit of both at one time! If you are suffering or have suffered before from a fracture due to osteoporosis, then you should take someone along with you when you go out. You may be scared of breaking or fracturing another bone when doing so, but sitting indoors will only make it worse. You don’t need to throw caution to the wind, but at the same time, enjoy the outdoors while taking some precautions.
As it can be seen, living a healthier life is the key to beating osteoporosis, though there are a lot of other medical measures that should be taken as well, as prescribed by your doctor. Another unhealthy habit that should be stopped is smoking. Nicotine is very detrimental to the health of bones and while kicking the habit can be difficult, there are support groups to help you as well as medication that stop the urge.
While on the topic of medication, a person may have other health issues going on beside osteopenia or osteoporosis. An overall check should be made of the medication that is being consumed. While, for example, a man may be suffering from osteopenia and at the same time consuming tablets for his prostate issues, he may not be aware that this medication actually lowers testosterone and ultimately estrogen which are needed for healthy bones. So by either stopping or changing his medication, he may prevent osteopenia from turning into full-blown osteoporosis.
There is no stopping to tell how a small lifestyle change can have the biggest positive results on your health.
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The type of diet you live by determines your health. And the earlier you start living healthy, the less likely you are to fall ill and become victim to diseases such as osteoporosis. Basically, if you maintain a diet of fresh vegetables and fruits you are on the right track. Do not get stuck in a rut. The number of fruits and vegetables are as vast as the colour of the rainbow and eating a variety will not bring boredom to your diet neither will it let diseases take over your body.
– Eat dairy products made from milk that is naturally rich in calcium. These days you get milk that has been super enriched with calcium, but you can skip that and stick to the natural stuff. Calcium is essential for bone building, so start with dairy products at an early age so you have a head start.
– Fish is a good source of both vitamin D and calcium. While vitamin D can be absorbed by skin by tanning in the sun, when it comes to diet, you can get it through fish. Fresh fish that has not yet been processed and frozen is a good option. The best fish is salmon, sardines and other omega-3 foods that will help your battle with osteoporosis.
– As always, fresh fruits and vegetables are the diet that needs to be eaten. These days you get produce that has been sprayed with pesticides. So try the farmer’s market and eat only fresh produce so that it benefits your bones. As said earlier, try different coloured fruits and vegetables because each one has a different benefit. For bones, green leafy vegetables like kale and Brussels sprout are a good idea as they have vitamin K in them which is excellent for bone health. Cook it as less as you can because it will help retain the nutrients within them.
– In case you’re not able to eat fresh food, even though that should always be a part of your dietary plan, you can always go for supplements. These are tablets that have a nutrient as the main ingredient and approximately one or two of them will contain your daily supply of it. Speak to your doctor about the appropriate dosage and do not skip the cycle of consuming them as prescribed.
– Drink plenty of fresh water as it helps flush out toxins and other pollutants in the body. For example, if you have consumed alcohol and let it sit in your system for a while, it will affect your bones with its residual sugars. By drinking water and letting that out of your system, you will prevent it from doing any harm to your body.
Dietary plan should once again be taken after consulting with your doctor. For example, dairy products may help your bones, but you might be lactose intolerant, so it does more harm than good for you. By looking for healthy alternatives, you can build a dietary plan and then stick to it to help keep bones strong and rebuild the broken ones.
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Osteoporosis or its earlier on-set which is osteopenia are quite debilitating and many times patients are so frightened of cracking or fracturing a bone that they feel it is better to be housebound and have as little movement as possible. But the reverse is true. If you want to get yourself back to health with stronger bones, then it is recommended that you move around as much as possible as well as exercise. You cannot throw all caution to the wind and you must make adjustments to make sure that you do not meet with any accident. Having said that, let’s take a look at some exercises that can be practiced when you are a victim of osteopenia or osteoporosis…
Start off with something light. Mind relaxing stretching exercises such as yoga or tai chi will first get you in the right mindset to then start working out and including exercise into your daily regimen. No excuses. You need to make sure you are disciplined enough to not give up or skip a day of working out because this is your health and you need to make sure that you do your best to get back some strong bones. Yoga and such mental based workouts can do this for you.
A highly recommended way to work on your bones with minimum risk to damaging your brittle bones is to walk. A brisk walk that is at least 30 minutes long will work wonders. You need to walk almost every day of the week but you can take a couple of days off if you like. Apart from making bones firmer, brisk walking helps with a host of other health benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. Just make sure you walk in a place where there is least interference from anyone else. No one wants to bump into another running human being or playing child and risk a hip fracture.
Going to the gym is something that everyone who has exercise on their schedule does these days. Even though it is indoors and involves a lot of heavy machinery around that you might be intimidated by, speak to your trainer or someone at the gym beforehand to let them know that you are a victim of osteoporosis. This way, they will provide you with a timing where there are a few number of patrons as well as assist you with exercises that help in strengthening bones without the use of exerting equipment.
A word of caution though: Before you decide to work out, you need to consult with your doctor if it is ok to go ahead and do so. If you are a patient of chronic osteoporosis, then maybe exercising to such a great extent isn’t a good idea. So always find out from a medical expert first and if you get the go ahead, then don’t give up and keep working on it. If at any time you find yourself slipping, find a support group so that they can encourage you on your road to recovery.
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A healthy diet goes a long way for overall health. These days, the answer to any all diseases is consuming a balanced diet rich in minerals and vitamins. The same goes for osteoporosis and osteopenia. It is very important that once you are diagnosed with this bone disease, you do not take any further risks and you eat healthy and consciously.
While medication is essential to help battle osteopenia and osteoporosis, maintaining a good diet is also imperative. That is the care you need to give yourself and leave the medical part to your doctor.
– Eating foods that are rich in calcium is good for bone health. Make sure that whatever you eat is as natural as ever and not processed. This will give you the full benefits of the nutrients and vitamins present in it. Try different options for calcium – you don’t need to only stick to milk and milk products. Also experiment with different cuisines so eating healthy becomes even more interesting.
– Eat foods that are rich in vitamin D and vitamin K as well. Both of these help build stronger bones that ultimately reduce the suffering that osteopenia and osteoporosis bring. Try green vegetables and for that extra dose of vitamin D, go out in the sun and enjoy the freshness. Don’t forget the sunscreen though!
– Cut down on alcohol and cigarettes. If addicted, seek help and try to reduce the intake. They do nothing good to your body in any case, so feel that you absolutely need them in your life just because you feel the urge. Know that your bone health is more important that smoking or drinking. In place of these items, you can enjoy some fresh fruits and vegetables and nibble on them the whole day to keep you distracted. Carrots, apples and celery are a good option.
– For overall health, fresh fruits and vegetables are the key. But when you cook them, cut down on the salt because this is not good for your bones neither for your health in general. In case you find that you have consumed too much salt in a day, drink plenty of water to flush it out.
– Avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks. Even though we drink these to refresh ourselves, they erode bones slowly and you do not want this when you have osteoporosis. So in place of these, drink water and if you find the plain liquid boring, you can add fresh sprigs of mint and lemon slices to it. Naturally flavoured water is interesting and also secretly adds nutrients to your body.
– Eat a lot of eggs, fish, dairy products enriched with additional calcium and vitamin D. However, cut down on red meats as much as possible because they do not help bones and are difficult to digest in general.
The key to health is to always eat fresh and consult with a dietician about specialized foods that can aid in bone strength. A healthy diet is what will get you back to good health, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
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Living with any disease or disorder on your own is never easy. Osteoporosis is the physical illness that causes bones to become brittle and affects the elderly, especially women in the postmenopausal stage. Fracturing of the bones, especially the hip bone, is a common symptom of osteoporosis and is a danger to all those suffering under this. When there are others to support you, like friends, family, relatives and neighbours, or even paid help, than dealing with osteoporosis becomes much easier and helps alleviate the burden. Also, living and daily activities become much easier to handle when it is being taken care of by a known caretaker.
Help and support for osteoporosis comes in different ways. First, it is of course being helped with daily activities that require a lot of movement or travelling outside to places that is not friendly for osteoporosis patients. Second, when dealing with any sort of illness that is not part of the natural make-up of the body, people tend to face emotional and mental wounds as well to come to terms with it, especially if it is as long-lasting and as debilitating as osteoporosis. If there are loved ones around to help cheer up a patient, especially if the patient is homebound and healing from a fracture, then it benefits the patient immensely.
If you have a known person, maybe a loved one or a neighbour who is going through osteoporosis, then do not hesitate to give them a helping hand. Daily activities that require going out and getting work done, like grocery shopping or tending the garden are ways that you can give of your free time and help the person in need. Another way is to help in household chores, especially those that require a lot of movement and could cause bumping and ultimately fracturing of the patient’s bones. Assisting with cleaning the house, moving furniture around when needed, drying clothes, etc may seem mundane to an ordinary person, but to an osteoporosis patient, it would go a long way.
Apart from helping them with daily activities, it is also imperative to keep a track of their mental well being. Anyone going through something that requires strain on the body will end up having stress on the mind as well. Since osteoporosis means less calcium and vitamin D in the system, provide them with a lot of calcium rich foods, milk being the first option for an osteoporosis sufferer. Also, short walks in the sunlight and change of scene by letting them out of the house and into a park with a lot of nature and other people around is also recommended. Sitting with patients and talking to them, distracting them from their unfortunate circumstances is also a good deed that can be done on free time. Support groups for osteoporosis patients are popping up all over, so ask your local hospital or where the patient gets treated as well as a church or someplace where they might have groups of people who help each other and are a shoulder to each other for some support.
Helping a patient going through osteoporosis will help alleviate their sufferings to a great extent.
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It is not easy living with osteoporosis. It means that your bones, the very physical support system of your body is weak and easily breakable. While it does not affect one’s health, it does inhibit everyday living because a slight slip or fall may result in bone fractures or breaking of the bones that is painful and leaves the patient homebound and in constant recovery. The unfortunate part about osteoporosis is that there are no outward symptoms until a brittle bone cracks or breaks and then it is determined that the density of the bone has diminished to such a great extent that it cannot stay intact after a mere bump or fall takes place with the patient. It is recommended that regular bone density check-ups be taken after the age of 30 to determine whether one is at a high risk of falling prey to this bone disease that is osteoporosis.
Once you find yourself a victim of osteopenia or the more severe osteoporosis, there is still a chance that though you might not be completely cured of it, you can still work hard toward making your bones stronger and less liable to break easily.
First, consult a specialist. Having a good doctor who knows his stuff will answer all your questions and give you some relief as to what is your diagnosis and next plan of action. Do not be afraid to clear any doubts you may have about either osteopenia or osteoporosis. You are the one who is suffering with it and you need to deal with it as best you can. Ask your doctor to provide you with affordable medicines that help in bone building and that have little to no side-effects.
Second, start eating a healthy diet. Cut out all processed foods and start consuming vitamin and mineral rich vegetables and fruits. It is recommended that you eat dairy products because they have calcium in it that helps in bone support. If you are lactose intolerant or your diet regimen doesn’t allow milk, then switch to soy products like tofu or have calcium supplements that also work as good in concentrated form. Be wary of carbonated and caffeinated drinks as they actually erode the bone which is detrimental when suffering from osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Third, get a lot of vitamin D. This is another essential for healthy bones and you can eat vitamin D rich foods or take supplements that are packed with this nutrient. One of the best ways that one can involve vitamin D into their lifestyle is by getting a lot of sunlight. Now while the noon sun is harsh and can actually harm the skin with prolonged exposure, the best way to benefit from the sun is to take a brisk walk for around 30 minutes in the early morning sun. It will soak directly into your skin and work wonders for your brittle bones.
Last but not least, exercise! While going to the gym is a good way to work on your body, it is indoors and usually concentrates more on muscle building. Go outdoors, get some fresh air and sunlight and walk, not jog, in order to get an overall body workout as well as build your bones. You can also try more relaxing forms of exercise such a tai chi and yoga in case you are worried that going out or to the gym might cause an accident.
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Osteopenia and the more severe osteoporosis affect one in 5 women in the United States alone. As you can see, this is a silent disease that cannot be ignored and almost everyone is prone to be a victim of it.
One of the most unfortunate parts of suffering with osteopenia and osteoporosis is that there are no external symptoms that indicate a low bone density. It takes an accident or a fracture to be determined by a medical practitioner that one is suffering from it. Osteopenia and osteoporosis means that bones are brittle and porous and therefore easily breakable. A slight bump or hitting an object can result in a fracture. In severe cases, if one just stands for a long time, the very vertebra or bone within your spinal cord can get crushed and crack, leading to severe pain and posture issues. A person suffering with osteopenia or osteoporosis generally will not have a straight posture and will have a bent back or hunch back as it is commonly called.
Hip fractures are one of the largest repercussions caused due to osteopenia and osteoporosis. Due to regular movement of an individual, the hip is more likely to bump against something or not be able to deal with the pressure of the entire spinal cord resting on it, resulting in a broken hip. Again, this is extremely painful and due to the disease itself, takes a lot of time to heal. A sad part about osteopenia and osteoporosis is that they are sometimes fatal, because a hip or other bone fracture may not cure properly or there might be a blood clot of some kind.
Osteopenia and osteoporosis affect the mind as well. One tends to get paranoid about moving around for daily activities in fear of meeting with an accident. Since all it takes is a slight bump to fracture a bone, those who suffer are not comfortable going out anywhere and prefer to stay indoors which can lead to depression as well as other health and mental issues. It is necessary to have a support system so that you know that you are not dealing with it alone and there are others to care for you and detect signs of depression in case the victim feels overwhelmed. Never try to fight your battles alone.
If you are living with osteopenia or osteoporosis on a daily basis, then first, have a positive warrior-like attitude. Know that you are not alone in this and also that there is a way out. Start living a healthy lifestyle and do not hesitate trying to get up and exercise. It might be painful and you might be scared, but exercise actually helps your bones improve and helps fight osteopenia or osteoporosis. Also, do not be callous. Keep an upright posture and do not slouch as any pressure on the spinal bones or on your hips can cause them to fracture. Make sure that your chairs and bed are soft and osteopenia or osteoporosis friendly. Wherever you go make sure that those around you are aware of your condition and that there is someone to take care of you at times when you have to move around.
Finally, consult with your doctor and research other ways for living with osteopenia or osteoporosis. It will help you live with the disease with much better ease.
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Osteopenia and osteoporosis are bone diseases that cause bones to go brittle and fracture at the slightest accident. It doesn’t show any premature signs, so the victim doesn’t know she is suffering from it until she very easily breaks a bone and discovers that her bones will never be strong like they should be again. The way to prevent osteoporosis from happening is to take the preventive measures for the same. However, that may not always work because it could be hormonal or hereditary and you will find yourself with it in the postmenopausal stage. Still, here are a few natural remedies to try and prevent osteopenia and osteoporosis from taking over your life.
Exercise: One of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis is to get regular exercise. Muscle building is a whole different ball game and you do it for other reasons. In order to prevent osteopenia, you need to work on building bone mass and one of the best ways is to take brisk walks or to participate in active sports. But make sure it is done regularly with just a day or two to rest in the week.
Calcium: Calcium is essential for strong bone density. In fact almost all your calcium intake is stored up to strengthen bone mass. So don’t hesitate to eat foods that are rich in calcium. These days there are calcium supplements you can take, but consult with your doctor regarding the quantity that needs to be consumed. Other foods rich in calcium are milk and milk products and other vegetables.
Vitamin D & Vitamin K: These two vitamins are great when it comes to bone health and preventing the onslaught of osteopenia and osteoporosis. The way to source them is to consume tablets that have them as their main ingredients. But for a natural source, vitamin K is got from Brussels sprouts and kale. Vitamin D is obtained mainly from the rays of the sun, so get some sunshine but not when it is too bright and hot outside.
Estrogen: This female hormone is essential for bone health and the reason why women who are in the postmenopausal stage attract osteopenia and osteoporosis is because they do not have sufficient supply of estrogen in their system during this phase. So another way to naturally get estrogen into your system is to eat lentils, beans, soy, chickpeas, etc. These will help keep the balance and allow good estrogen flow.
Avoid: For good bone health, there are things you need to avoid. Smoking affects the bones because of the nicotine content in it. Drinking too much alcohol will also slough off bone mass because of the amount of sugars contained in it. Caffeine and carbonated drinks are also a bad idea because they erode bone mass and aid in the onset of osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Less Stress: A whole lot of diseases and sicknesses are related to stress and osteopenia and osteoporosis are no exception. Take time to meditate, practise yoga and tai chi and get regular massages so that they aid in calming you down and beating stress.
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