Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes bone mass to deplete without getting replenished and due to this, bones become porous and brittle and that leads to the ultimate fracturing and breaking of bones. The earlier onset of osteoporosis is called osteopenia and is more likely to be curable than full blown osteoporosis.
Those who suffer from it are most of the time not aware about it until there is a mishap and a bone easily cracks or breaks. Hence it is essential to go for regular bone density check-ups to make sure that you are on the right track.
Women are more likely at risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis especially in the postmenopausal stage of life. This is because the female hormone estrogen is involved in aiding the building of bone strength. But during this stage, there is hormonal imbalance due to which bones are more likely to become brittle.
Studies are still going on to find out for sure who are more at risk. But at the moment the conclusion is that if you know someone in your family, like an aunt or your mother who has gone through osteopenia or osteoporosis, then you might get it as well. That is because low bone density may run in the family. Also, if you have a tiny frame and calcium deficiency from an early age, then you may fall victim to it. The best way to find out the risk factor for osteopenia and osteoporosis is to get regular bone density scans, starting by age 25 when it should be at its peak.
Another unfortunate fact about osteopenia and osteoporosis is that they cannot be detected because they do not have any outer symptoms. Apart from a bone density scan, there is no other way that a patient can tell if they have fallen victim to this bone disease. But the earlier you start to first of all, live a healthy lifestyle and eat foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D and second of all, go for regular medical scans, then you made aware in advance about your risk and can take action accordingly.
Though osteopenia and osteoporosis are said to affect women, men are not spared either. They also may be victim to it, but their chances are slimmer. The reason being that men indulge in a lot of physical activity that helps strengthen bones. However, if they suffer from any other medical issue like prostate problem and need to take some medication for it, they need to consult with a doctor to determine whether this will reduce testosterone in their system and ultimately lead to osteopenia or osteoporosis and take supplements accordingly.
Living a healthy life and maintaining a balanced diet while cutting out bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol excessively seem to be the only way to reduce the risk of being a patient of osteopopenia and osteoporosis. Though this is not the only solution since there are other factors that play a part, going for regular check-ups will also keep you prepared.
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