The meaning of the term ‘Osteoporosis’ originates from ‘Osteo’ meaning bone, and ‘porosis’ implying thinning or becoming more porous. Hence, osteoporosis literally means ‘thinning of bone’. Medically, Osteoporosis is a disease of bone in which the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced which means one has a low bone mass and deteriorating bone tissue. In simple words the bones become thin, brittle and may be easily broken. Bone mass (bone density) is the amount of bone present in the skeletal structure. The higher the density the stronger are the bones. Bone density is strongly influenced by genetic factors, which in turn are sometimes modified by environmental factors and medications.
If Osteoporosis is not prevented in the early stages or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until the bone tends to break. These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist. The fracture caused by osteoporosis can be either in the form of cracking (as in a hip fracture), or collapsing (as in a compression fracture of the vertebrae of the spine). Though thee spine, hips, and wrists are common areas of osteoporosis-related bone fractures almost any skeletal bone area is susceptible to osteoporosis-related fracture.
The consequences of osteoporosis may impair a person for life. A hip fracture may impair a person's ability to walk and may cause permanent disability or even death despite hospitalization and major surgery. The Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, including loss of height, severe back pain, and deformity. Osteoporosis can cause a person to stoop forward and appear to have a hump on his or her spine. While osteoporosis occurs in men and pre-menopausal women, the problem is predominant among postmenopausal women.
Though the disease can strike at any age statistics reveal:
-One in four women over the age of 50 has osteoporosis.
-One in eight men over 50 also has the disease.
Symptoms for Osteoporosis
common signs and symptoms for Osteoporosis
Many people do not realize they have osteoporosis until diagnosis reveals it has subsisted for a long period of time. The following are some of the common signs and symptoms indicating osteoporosis maybe affecting you:
-Acute onset of back pain (mid- lower back) without any specific reason
-Fracture in the thigh bone, hipbone or lower arm bone above the wrist.
-Sharp pain in the back, ribs, hip or wrist
-A hunched forward or bent stature
-Loss of height due to collapsing vertebrae.
Causes for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis Symptoms, Causes, Remedy and Diet
Most Common Causes for Osteoporosis
There are multiple reasons that could lead to osteoporosis.
Here are some of the most common reasons that have been known to cause osteoporosis:
-Among women the deficiency of Estrogen (a group of hormones) post menopause has been correlated to a rapid reduction in BMD.
-The increased risk of falling associated with aging, leads to fractures of the wrist, spine and hip.
-Other hormone deficiency states can lead to osteoporosis, such as testosterone deficiency. Glucocorticoid or thyroxine excess states also lead to osteoporosis.
-Not eating foods rich in Calcium, Vitamin D and Phosphorous can also cause bone loss. Calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency from malnutrition also increases the risk of osteoporosis.
-Some medicines can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium. This may cause the bones to weaken. These medications include cortisone/corticosteroids, anticoagulants, thyroid supplements, and some anti-convulsive drugs.
-Other illnesses or diseases, such over-active thyroid, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may also cause bone loss. A disease such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia can cause changes in a person's estrogen level and lead to osteoporosis.
-Other significant factors leading to the onset of osteoporosis include: smoking cigarettes, high intake of alcohol, tea or coffee, low levels of physical activity (weight bearing exercise), and family history.
Remedies for Osteoporosis
Simple tips to tackle Osteoporosis
If Osteoporosis has been diagnosed in the early stages one can follow a simple routine to regain health naturally.
Here are some simple tips to tackle osteoporosis sans medication:
-Exercise to build strong bones: Exercise for atleast thirty minutes comprising of weight-bearing exercise such as walking or jogging, three times a week. This regime has been proven to increase bone mineral density, and reduce the risk of falls by strengthening the major muscle groups in the legs and back.
-Water Walking: is another suggested exercise to combat osteoporosis. Walking in chest-deep water for about 30 minutes at least three times a week is a suggested remedy as water helps support the body weight and take stress off bones and joints.
-Dandelion Tea: Drink dandelion leaf tea to help build bone density
-Higher intake of Soy products: As Hormonal imbalances can contribute to bone loss, eating more soy products or taking a supplement that contains soy isoflavones, the active ingredient in soybeans helps balance estrogen levels. One should get at least 40 mg of soy isoflavones in a daily diet or by taking isoflavone supplements.
-Chaste Berry: Chaste berry contains vitexicarpin and vitricin, which help to keep hormone levels in balance. It is advisable to take atleast 250 mg a day of a standardized extract of this herb every day for two to three months.
-Dong Quai: Dong quai has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to address menstrual disorders, PMS, and infertility. It also helps keep hormone levels in balance. It is advisable to take 250 mg of a standardized extract of dong quai daily as a tonic herb.
-Black Cohosh: A recent study indicates this popular herb may help prevent osteoporosis. Most studies recommend an intake of either 20 or 40 mg of black cohosh extract twice a day.
-Sesame seeds: A handful of sesame seeds had every morning may also help osteoporosis.
-Almond Milk: Another home remedy for osteoporosis is calcium- rich almond milk. One can have the almond milk by soaking the almonds in warm water, peeling it and blending it with either cow milk, goat’s milk or soya milk.
Diet for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis : Home Remedies suggested by users
Some diet tips to keep osteoporosis at bay
One needs to bring a few changes to lifestyle factors and diet to overcome the effects of osteoporosis.
Here are some diet tips one can adhere to and keep osteoporosis at bay:
-It is recommended that one should include 1500mg of calcium daily either via dietary means or via supplementation. For measurement purposes, it is important to note that an 8 oz glass of milk contains approximately 300 mg of calcium. Calcium supplements are an effective alternative option. These come in a variety of forms. The body can absorb only about 500 mg of calcium at one time and so intake should be spread throughout the day.
-Bones need nourishment from calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorous. A poor diet lacking these essential vitamins and minerals contributes to osteoporosis. Foods rich in calcium are especially necessary to maintaining healthy bones. Dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt) salmon, sardines, almonds, dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli are good sources of calcium.
-Apparently, bones are not made from calcium alone. They're an amalgam that includes various minerals such as zinc, boron and copper. Doctors suggest that these trace elements can be ingested through a varied and broad-based diet that includes mostly unprocessed foods, such as whole grains, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish and lean meat.
-Foods high in boron (a mineral that helps the body hold calcium) are beneficial for those affected by osteoporosis. Boron is found in apples, pears, grapes and other fruit, as well as in legumes, nuts and honey.
-Manganese is another beneficial mineral. Traces of manganese are largely found in pineapples, nuts, spinach, beans and whole wheat.
-Brussels sprouts are known to prevent diseases like cancer, birth defects, osteoporosis and heart trouble. Brussels sprouts provide essential vitamin K (this vitamin activates a protein found in bones, call osteocalcin, which holds calcium molecules in place) helps protect against osteoporosis.
-Inculcate a life style change by quitting cigarette smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and exercising regularly. It is important to note that a few studies have suggested an adverse effect of calcium excess on bone density and reports indicate the milk industry has been misleading customers. It has been reported that excess consumption of dairy products may cause acification, which leeches calcium from the system. Therefore, it is claimed that vegetables and nuts are a better source of calcium and milk products are better avoided.