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Osteoporosis - A Silent Thief

Updated on October 30, 2011

Osteoporosis: A Silent Thief provides an interesting approach in explaining this disease and what can be done as prevention and takes a broad look at what can be done in the way of treatments. If you like what you learned about The “Skinny” on Calcium and Weight Loss ; then this hub can be viewed as part two of the series.

Most people share the idea that once a bone is built, it is inert like a rock. Actually, the bones are gaining and losing minerals continuously in an ongoing process of remodeling. Growing children gain more bone than they lose, and healthy adults maintain a reasonable balance. When withdrawals substantially exceed deposits, problems such as osteoporosis develop.

Osteoporosis Facts

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become porous (void spaces within the structure of the bone) and fragile due to a loss of minerals; this condition is also known as adult bone loss. People with osteoporosis most often break bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. One out of every two women and one in four men over age 50 will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis.

A low calcium intake during the growing years limits the bones’ ability to achieve an optimal mass and density. Dense bones best protect against age-related bone loss and fractures. Most individuals achieve their peak bone mass by their late 20’s, from there bone loss is a degenerative downward spin. All adults lose bone while growing older, beginning as early as before age 40. When bone loss reaches the point of fragility, causing fractures under common, everyday stresses, osteoporosis has already stolen the golden opportunity for reversal.

Unlike many diseases that pronounce themselves in the body through symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and other signs of distress, osteoporosis is silent. The body sends no signals for help as bone looses precious calcium, structure and integrity. Unfortunately, blood samples offer no clues because blood calcium remains normal regardless of bone content, and measures of bone density are not routinely taken at your typical annual exam visit with your doctor.

Reverse Osteoporosis - 911 HELP!! I’m being robbed!!!

This year, Healthy People 2010 set as one of its goals to; “Reduce the proportion of adults with osteoporosis.” Osteoporosis afflicts more than 25 million people in the United States, mostly older women. Why mostly older women? In a woman’s earlier years, irregular menstrual cycles may signal a hormonal shortage, but most women don’t consider this an issue serious enough to warrant medical attention, they often enjoy the pleasure of “skipping cycles”, unaware of the “silent thief” at work.

Unknowingly, delay in treatment could lead to further bone loss and eventually osteoporosis. In the later years of woman’s life cycle, another condition to consider is amenorrhea, the absence of a menstrual period for three months or more, which may mean a deficiency of estrogen and other reproductive hormones. These hormones help maintain bone density, as mentioned earlier, dense bones mean strong bones. Finally, once a woman enters the menopausal (cease of menstruation) stage of life, the potential for bone loss is inevitable.

Osteoporosis is not a calcium deficiency disease such as scurvy. In scurvy, adequate vitamin C reliably reverses the condition; in osteoporosis, high calcium intakes alone during adulthood may prevent further deterioration, but does little or nothing to reverse bone loss once the degenerative process of osteoporosis has taken over. Because you can’t see and or necessarily “feel” osteoporosis, the best strategy that one can take to protect from the destructive afflictions of this “silent thief”, is to eat a diet rich in calcium!

Osteoporosis screening should be performed during normal annual medical exam for women over age 65. Women age 60 to 64 with higher-than-average risk factors for bone thinning, such as thin women or women not taking estrogen should also be screened earlier. The dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is a painless scan that your doctor can order.

Osteoporosis Treatment Guidelines - No Time to Wait for a response from 911?

If you are a woman age 60 or older, there’s no time to wait for a response from your cry for help. If you’re worried about preventing bone loss from osteoporosis, simply concentrating just on dairy products is not the best way to build strong bones. Strangely enough, statistics show, for example, that the countries that consume the most dairy products have the highest rates of osteoporosis. How can this be?

“I’m Glad you Asked”

Calcium is not the only nutrient needed for strong bones. Magnesium and phosphorus are also important. Heavy milk drinkers tend to eat more animal protein, and refined flour and sugar products, all which make the bloodstream slightly acidic temporarily, causing the bones to release calcium to restore the normal blood calcium balance. Be sure to read my hub titled, The “Skinny” on Calcium and Weight Loss.

Magnesium and phosphorus are found mostly in vegetable sources of calcium, such as green leafy plants. Vegetable sources rich in calcium encourage calcium to be stored in the bones.

Osteoporosis - A Silent Thief

Alternative Osteoporosis Treatment - So what’s the Bottom Line??

In support of The “Skinny” on Calcium and Weight Loss, a diet high in animal proteins along with refined flour and sugar will not only wreck your chances for weight loss, but actually will encourage the bone loss process. Just as consuming large amounts of dairy, but overlooking the importance of green leafy vegetables is a harmful mistake. So what’s best? Get your calcium, magnesium and phosphorus from good plant sources… just like the cows that produce the milk do!!

For maximum calcium retention, try to eat at least two servings of vegetables (either raw or cooked) with every meal!! High calcium vegetable sources include kale, collards, mustard greens, arugula, bok choy, parsley, watercress, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and corn or butternut squash. Most of these veggies in addition to many more have been discussed in my hub titled, Anti-Angiogenic Foods: Eat to Help Fight Cancer.


Again there will be a second hub for, Osteoporosis - A Silent Thief. This is an introduction to the musculoskeletal disease of osteoporosis and what you may not have known about the disease. For more information on how to “Arm yourself against the silent killer, osteoporosis”, stay tuned for my sister's conclusion on this subject in her next article titled “Bone Robbers”. Once again, I hope you learned something; knowledge is the greatest source of Power!


Disclaimer: This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should do your own research, and then consult your physician before making any changes that might go against present doctor advised instructions.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great hub with lots of useful information! Thank you!

    • BEAUTYBABE profile image


      7 years ago from QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA.

      This is a very informative and useful hub.

      I found out I had osteoporosis purely by accident when I woke up one morning with severe central chest pain. I was able to get an early appointment with my doctor. He sent me for a chest x-ray and some blood bests saying that he thought I had pleurisy.

      On completion of the x-ray, the Radiologist appeared and started asking me a barage of questions, including had I coughed or sneezed hard recently, or fallen down hard?

      Then came the big question.Was my husband hitting me? You can imagine my surprise at all these questions, especially the last.The answer of course was no to all of them. Then I asked him one. Why are you asking me these questions?

      Well, I almost fell over with shock when he revealed that my x-ray findings were as follows: -

      3 fractured ribs on right side

      4 " " " Left side with another on

      the mend.

      He said it looked like I had rolled over during the night maybe more than once and the probably because of weakness in the rib bones, it caused them to fracture.

      I then was referred to an Endocrinologist who informed me after a bone density test, that I had severe oseoporosis. I have had several more rib fractures since then. I try to have as much dairy as well as the medication I have to take, as I can...

      I still find it hard to believe that the fractures occurred while I was turning in bed.

      I have read this hub with much interest and I would recommend it to any other women who could be suffering from this condition.

      Thank you very much Money Glitch,for supplying such a wonderful hub.

      I have voted it up, useful, awesome and interesting.


    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

    • profile image

      Fosamax Side Effects 

      8 years ago

      For those post-menopausal women who are currently taking Fosamax to treat their osteoporosis, kindly visit your doctor immediately if you are experiencing weakening of the bones and lessening of your bone density. Fosamax has non-forewarned adverse side effects that most patients don't know about.

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insight and I sincerely hope that if your mom does have osteoporosis, that she caught is in the early stages. Best wishes!

    • healthystream profile image


      8 years ago

      I agree with you Money Glitch. Osteoporosis is so stupid! Right now my mom is now concerned about her condition, which could be possibly having osteoporosis. She drinks milk with calcium every single day, and it's really a good sign than leaving it worse.

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for the link, Debby, I will definitely have to stop by for a read. :)

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      8 years ago

      Something weird happened and two comment boxes showed up. This is a super informative Hub. Enjoy all the photos, drawings and videos. Blessings.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      8 years ago

      Hello MG. I added a link to this page on my Fosamax Hub.

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Dj for stopping by for a read. :)

    • DjBryle profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Another useful and informative hub! Thanks for sharing! =)

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Jane@CM - Hi Jane, I agree that we've came a long way. However, there is still room for improvement. People need to be educated more about the preventive measures to take against this disease. And doctor's need to do a better job at discovering it earlier. So that situations like what happened to Cagsil's mom will stop happening. Thanks for the read. :)

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Cagsil - Oooh Cags, I'm so sorry that this has happened to your mother. My sister and I were just talking the other night about all the preventive things people can do if only they are educated to do them.

      It's stories like your mom's that makes me want to write more and share as much information that I can comprehend. I blame the doctors for not paying closer attention to women and men that might be easing into this disease until it is too late. Just as my sister has written this disease needs to be looked at way before someone reaches age 65, just look at your mom's case. Thanks for sharing your mom's story, be sure to check back for part 2 that will be coming soon.

    • Jane@CM profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a horrible disease. I know my it runs in my dad's side of the family. Thank goodness for technology and research, we've come a long way.


    • Cagsil profile image


      8 years ago from USA or America

      Hey Money Glitch, another great hub. My mother is in the beginning stages of Osteoporosis. About 2 years ago, she slipped and fell on some ice on the front walkway. She broke her wrist and was forced to have surgery. The surgery consisted of putting a graph, because the bone at the end of her wrist turned to powder upon impact. They also put in plate in her forearm with small finger-type holders to keep the bone graph in place and her wrist together. She continues to have strength issues with that hand and it hurts, because her work is physical/manual labor. And, before you ask, she was 61 at the time and is now 63 years old, semi retired. Once HubPages reaches a certain point, she is going to quit working, because it won't be necessary. Thank you for such a great article. :)

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      I'm sorry to hear that this devastating disease is in your family. We have got to get people more educated so that things can start to be done earlier in life instead of later once the disease has begin to progress. Thanks Boomer for stopping by and sharing your story.

    • Boomer60 profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a devastating disease and one that runs in our family. I do my best to get plenty of fresh vegetables and exercise. It hasn't stopped it but it has slowed it down.

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @lakeerieartists – Oh my what an awful thing to happen to someone while worshipping. I have heard that some times the bones get so fragile that to just attempting to lift that love one might break a bone. Thanks for the read and comments. :)

      @2besure – A decreasing in statute can be a part of just growing old gracefully. But as one ages they also become more prone to osteoporosis – a silent thief. Thanks for the read. :)

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I used to me my husband's height and now I am shorter than he is. My goodness, I'm shrinking...what a world...what a world!

    • lakeerieartists profile image

      Paula Atwell 

      8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Osteoporosis is so devastating. Several years ago, a woman in our synagogle tripped slightly and ended up breaking her leg because of it. The smallest jar of her bone did it. I swore to myself then, that I would never end up like that.

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Tatjana-M - Wow, I am learning so much information about this disease that I never knew before. Thanks so much for sharing your insight, Tatjana and for stopping by for a read, on osteoporosis - a silent thief. :)

      @K9 – I really have to thank my sister for tackling this one. It was her idea. We were just discussing last night the part 2 hub and you are so correct K9 it is a vicious cycle for many people when it comes to treating or not treating an illness only to find that later it’s caused another problem. Thanks for the read, and check back in about a week for part 2; it’s going to be interesting as well and maybe provide some thoughts that many young women have not thought about yet. :)

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @nifty@50 - You are exactly right, nifty as much as we may not want to hear it; diet and exercise are the key to a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for the read.

      @Pamela99 – Oh my goodness Pamela, I’m sorry to hear that has occurred. I just think it is so sad to have to take a drug for one illness only years later to be faced with another disease to manage. There has got to be a better way. Keep eating those veggies Pamela, and hopefully you have prevented osteoporosis in it tracks by creating the healthy lifestyle that you have. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      8 years ago from Northern, California

      The broken bone odds (one in every two women) are very 'eye opening' to say the least. Osteoporosis is sneaky as it creeps-up over time and before you realise your in trouble, your burdened with it. I agree with Pam, prednisone and similar medications rage to assist bone distruction. Many who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis take medications to quiet the immune system and have a steriodal component to them, and can also drink the strength from our bones. Outstanding information as always. Thank you for taking on a tough subject.


    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image


      8 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Great article. In addition, parathyroid glands are "responsible" for balanced calcium levels in the blood, and because they are part of thyroid there is most often some problem with thyroid as well, when someone has problem with bones. Thyroid and parathyroid are directly influenced with production of sexual hormones.

      Thank you.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Money Glitch, This is a good hub about an important topic. If you have been on a drug like prednisone like i have you will probably get osteoporosis. Years ago I had the beginning stages and I can't drink milk. I take Actonel, Calcium liquid capsules with vitamin D. I also eat a lot of vegetables. Great information in your hub for prevention.

    • nifty@50 profile image


      8 years ago

      Diet and exercise, you can't get around it! It is key to your overall health in so many ways! Great hub!

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Shalini K. – You are welcome Shalini, what makes me angry is the advertisements that make it sound like you ‘can reverse’ the problem. But from what I’ve read so far it’s more like you can work hard to stop the degeneration, but what is loss is loss. Maybe I’m wrong; my sister the nurse is doing a part 2 hub for this one. I can’t wait to see what she has to say about this disease.

      @Ingenira – Hi Ingenira thanks for the reminder about seaweed being a calcium source. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      @peacefulparadox – Thanks for bringing up the exercise and weight training, I agree both are important in preventing bone loss. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. :)

    • Money Glitch profile imageAUTHOR

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @glendoncaba – You know Glendon, I’m not sure what direction my sister’s research is going on this one. Based on her statement that “he people that drink the most milk, eat the most meat, and still have osteoporosis,” I would guess that more calcium needs to come from the veggies mentioned in The Skinny on Calcium and Weight Loss hub, but I’m really not sure. So, I have at least one reader awaiting part 2. :)

      @msorensson – Thanks so much msorensson for read and compliment. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Exercise and weight training is important in preventing bone loss too. When astronauts go into space where there is lack of gravity to provide resistant and use of muscles, they must have a strict exercise routine up there in order to prevent bone and muscle loss.

    • Ingenira profile image


      8 years ago

      Great hub ! Another good source of calcium : seaweed !

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      8 years ago from India

      Hi Money Glitch - thanks for a great hub! So many people tend to think milk and calcium tablets are enough but it's not. We take our bones for granted and suffer the consequences later.

    • msorensson profile image


      8 years ago

      You did a great job...!!

    • glendoncaba profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the hubverse

      So are you generally speaking recommending a vegetarian diet? For prevention of osteoporosis plus just healthier lifestyle?


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