- Aging & Longevity
Osteoporosis - A Nightmare for Older Women
Some books on coping with osteoporosis
I remember the days spent with my grandmother until she was alive. She used to have a lot of fractures followed by immense pain and I used to take her to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi. These fractures were nightmares for my grandmother. After two or three fractures, an orthopedic specialist finally prescribed her to get a bone density test done by radiology department of the hospital. After interpretation of bone density scores by radiation technologist and the doctor, it was determined that she has osteoporosis and has very fragile bones, as her T score was below -2.5 making her susceptible to frequent fractures without a severe cause. After that diagnosis, the doctor recommended calcium fortified foods and calcium supplements in the form of tablets. The doctor also told us to keep her on a nutritious diet rich in calcium. Finally in year 2003, she died of an unknown cause and her problems in coping with this nightmare remained in my memories.
Now coming back to the topic, in osteoporosis, a person develops weakened, fragile, and porous bones, which are vulnerable to frequent fractures. It is a disease that attacks the bones with the reduction of protein and bone mineral content with the main composition being calcium, which then reduces bone mineral density. Some studies have shown that when people begin to age (especially women) and develop severe osteoporosis, even a sudden jolt or sneeze can break a bone. Also, the amount of calcium and phosphorus naturally available in the body decreases because the body starts to reabsorb them. This process weakens the bone making them fragile and brittle and susceptible to a fracture in the absence of any direct trauma.
Prevention of osteoporosis
Bone loss starts to occur gradually, so a person can suffer fractures without realizing that it is in the presence of osteoporosis. When this happens, the disease probably is already well advanced and, therefore, the damage is more profound and difficult to be stopped. In people with osteoporosis, the hip, spine, and wrist are the most common locations where fractures occur. A wrist fracture is not so debilitating and can be easily treated with conservative measures but a spine and hip fracture can cause serious trouble requiring long-term hospitalization and sometimes major surgery. Osteoporosis tends to affect mainly postmenopausal women who have absence of menstrual periods. Women of Caucasian and Asian origin have increased risk of acquiring this disease because they have less bone mass than people of other origin. Though osteoporosis comes with aging but some main causes of developing early osteoporosis are malnutrition, which causes a lack of calcium and vitamin D.
Consumption of alcohol, snuff, caffeine, and sedentary life styles also contribute to the early onset osteoporosis. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia also play a prominent role in development of early osteoporosis.
Yoga for osteoporosis - The complete guide
While in the early stages of development, osteoporosis has no symptoms at all and once progress has been made, there may be fractures in the vertebrae, wrists, or hips accompanied with back pain, bone pain, sore neck, bone tenderness, and stooped posture. There are different ways of coping with osteoporosis. Extra calcium intake, proper diet, and exercise before menopause are very beneficial to maintain bone structure in good condition. The fractures caused by this disease are very painful and may require long-term hospital stay. As this problem develops in old age, the problem becomes worse as the person is old and is more susceptible to fractures due to balance and coordination problems combined with osteoporosis. So at last we can say that an active lifestyle, regular exercise including yoga, nutritious diet, and intake of calcium rich food are the best ways to cope with this nightmare for older women.
Your Guide to Natural Hormone Treatents for Osteoporosis
I would not recommend excessive
intake of calcium pills because according to a recent news article published in
Los Angeles Times, it has been shown that old postmenopausal women who consume
regular calcium pills to keep off osteoporosis have an increased risk of heart
attacks making these pills more of a problem than prevention of osteoporosis. Here is a similar story just published an hour ago at fairwarning.org
I would recommend management of osteoporosis with hormone replacement therapy or hormone patches, but that should always be done under the supervision of an experienced gynecologist keeping in mind that HRTs can interfere with female hormones and health and can cause breast cancer in postmenopausal women.