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What is Osteoporosis? Causes, Diet and Exercise

Updated on February 8, 2017
Compression Fracture Due to Osteoporosis
Compression Fracture Due to Osteoporosis | Source

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition when bones lose strength, become weak and start degenerating. Weak bones can easily break causing major fractures, hairline fractures in the bones, hip fractures, spinal fractures and wrist fractures. These injuries may permanently handicap a person.

What actually happens?

Bones in the human body grow till the about the age of 30. During this time, the body keeps producing substances that form new bones and removes old bone substances. This is the period when the bone remains the strongest, and they can heal and recover from any injury.

After 30 years of age the body starts to reduce the production of new bones. This is when the bones start to weaken, and osteoporosis sets in.

Osteoporosis can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle. Eating the right kind of food and exercising are the keys to preventing osteoporosis.

Causes of Osteoporosis

The following are the causes of Osteoporosis -

  • deficiency of vitamin D and calcium
  • drinking excess alcohol
  • smoking
  • lack of exercises
  • lethargic lifestyle

Long time use of medications such as steroids and antacids can also be one of the causes of osteoporosis.

The following is all about how to prevent osteoporosis -

Diet to Prevent Osteoporosis

  1. Calcium is crucial to strengthen the bone. Following a calcium-rich diet is essential for strong bones. Low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, cheese, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and soy, are all rich in calcium.
  2. Green leafy vegetables have lots of calcium, potassium, and vitamin K. They are important to prevent loss of calcium from the bones.
  3. A low-salt diet helps to prevent osteoporosis. When salt content is high in the body, the calcium content in the body reduces, making the bones weak.
  4. Decrease the amount of coffee intake. Three cups a day would be ideal. Caffeine present in coffee beans depletes the calcium content in the body, making the bones weak.
  5. Collagen is a long fibrous protein that provides the body with strength and supports the bone structure. Eat fiber rich food.
  6. The human body needs Vitamin C to produce collagen. Organic goji berries, bell peppers, citrus fruits, broccoli, Brussel sprouts are all rich in Vitamin C.

Exercises to Prevent Osteoporosis

Weight-bearing exercises help to stop bone loss. Examples of weight-bearing exercises are running, weightlifting, tennis, climbing stairs, aerobics, dancing and volleyball. Weight-bearing exercises make the bones strong and less susceptible to injuries.

Exercises help to improve posture and flexibility. Being flexible and agile will help to support and balance the body and reduce the chances of falling. This will help to prevent any injury to the bones.

Safety Guidelines to Prevent Bone Injury Due to Osteoporosis

  1. Installing bed railings will help to prevent elder people who are more prone to osteoporosis from rolling off the bed by accident.
  2. Wearing rubber-soled shoes that fit properly and have extra traction will help to prevent from slipping and falling that can result in injury to the bones.
  3. Removing objects lying on the floor will help to reduce the risk of tripping over, falling and injuring the bones.
  4. Protection gear is crucial while playing any sport. For example helmets, chin straps, knee pads, elbow pads, etc. Without proper protection, the risk of injury to the bones is very high.
  5. Wearing helmets while driving a bike or a scooter, wearing the seatbelt while driving a car are all safety measures to prevent any bone injury.

Early Detection

Early detection of osteoporosis can prevent onset of osteoporosis. A screening test called Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry can measure bone and mineral density and can detect osteoporosis. Bone density tests are recommended for middle-aged women and all women 65 years of age.

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    • Vellur profile image
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      Nithya Venkat 10 months ago from Dubai

      Nadine May thank you for your visit and comment.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 10 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Very useful post and the main image is very informative. I now see that I saw this post before. Well done

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Chitrangada thank you for your visit and the share. Timely detection and treatment is the best way to keep Osteoporosis in check.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful and informative hub, in fact a must read for everyone. We must be very careful about our diet and physical activity as we age. You are right that timely detection can help in controlling the disease.

      Thank you for this important hub, also shared on HH!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Nadine May thank you, do get a screen test done. Using the stairs for exercise is a great idea.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you for that article it made me aware that i should have a test done and in the mean time use the stairs in our home as an exercise tool.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Oh, dear! Guess I'll just have to stick to water as sugary drinks aren't a good idea either. Oh, well. It'll be good for dieting. Thank you so much for your reply.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      BlossomSB according to fitnessrepublic.com both regular coffee and decafe causes loss of calcium from the body.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      No not yet, will let you know as soon as I do.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Hi Vellur. were you able to find out if decaf coffee has the same effect?

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Conservative Lady everything will be OK, do not worry. Thank you for the information. You have added value to my hub. Thank you for your vote too.

    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      I just had my first DEXA scan to check for osteoporosis - anxiously awaiting the results. Good information here - did you know that there is also a connection between soda pop and osteoporosis? Soda contains phosphoric acid which leads to bone loss - limit coffee and soda..... Drink low fat milk instead. Voted Up and useful.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      girishpuri thank you for stopping by. Steroids have many side effects.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 5 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Great tips and knowledge about Osteoporosis, sometimes continuous use of steroids lead to the problem, very useful hub, thank you so much.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      QudsiaP1 thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 5 years ago

      Excellent hub vellur, osteoporosis has begun to become quite a common occurrence due to man's careless ways.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you. I'd appreciate that.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      I have no idea, I will find out and let you now as soon as I can.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      I have no idea, I will find out and let you now as soon as I can.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for reading my hub and your comment. I wonder if, in the case of osteoporosis, decaf coffee should be off-limits, too?

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      BlossomSB I will read the article. Steroid injections cause so many problems. Am glad your arthritis was resolved. Take care. Thank you for sharing your experience and providing a vital link.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Some years ago I was surprised to find I had this problem as when I was a child we had lots of milk and my mother even fed me on egg-flips made from eggs soaked in lemon juice so the shell was dissolved and we had lots of spinach! Apparently it was due to steroid injections I received over a few years for arthritis. Then I read a book (see my article on http://blossomsb.hubpages.com/hub/Arthritis-Me-and... and the arthritis problem disappeared but the osteoporosis problem remains. I do Pilates exercises, but not the exercises in your video, so I shall be adding them to my routine. Thank you for this very informative hub.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Jackie Lynnley prevention is better than cure. Great to know that you have started taking care. It is very sad to know that your mother your mother did not have the strength resuscitate. Take care.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      My mom had this so I am really working on prevention and just starting special exercise to strengthen muscle around the spine and adding weights to my walks. This is really a bad thing to have I saw from my mom and she had a no resuscitate because it would have broken so many bones and cause a more horrible death.

      Great info to share.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      vocalcoach thankyou and take care. Thank you for your vote and share.

      AudreyHowitt thank you, coffee and salt is OK in moderation I guess.

      MPG Narratives, take care. Thank you for stopping by and your vote.

      Raindefence will check it out, thank you. Cheers to you to.

    • Rain Defence profile image

      Rain Defence 5 years ago from UK

      Hello, you've spelled lose as loose in your opening paragraph. Thought I'd tell you so you can correct it as that's what hubpages and google use as a summary.

      Cheers.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I too have osteoporosis, only diagnosed last year. I have had one injection and am due another 2 in the next two years. It was a surprise to me as I am only in my early 50's but my mother and grandmother both had it. Thanks for these tips and I didn't know about the coffee issue. Voted up and useful.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      What great information! I didn't know that coffee and salt intake had a negative effect--

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I have osterporosis (surprise to me) and am on Foreo daily injections to build my bones. I appreciate your good tips and the video. I will watch my caffeine intake. Wonder why doctors tail to tell patients this?

      Voted up and sharing. Thanks so much.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Millionaire Tips thank you for stopping by, thanks for the vote too.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      These are great ideas for everyone, especially for people who have osteoporosis in their family. I'm going to take some vitamins now. Voted up.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Tonipet thank you for your appreciation and vote. I hope my hub will help your sister. Take care.

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 5 years ago from The City of Generals

      I've been having pain in my nape down my back, perhaps due to prolonged sitting while facing the computer. I think your safety measures can help me protect myself. I'll try make the right choices. Sharing this to my sister too, thank you vellur. Voting up!