Osteoporosis: Thinning of Bones in Women
Osteoporosis is a condition, which causes the bones to become weak and brittle that even mild stresses such as coughing or bending over can cause fracture.
Osteoporosis affects mostly older women. Broken bones from osteoporosis cause serious health problems and disability in older women.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
The body constantly absorbs and replaces bone tissue, new bone is made and old bone is broken down.
With osteoporosis, bone formation (osteoblastic activity) doesn’t keep up with resorption (osteoclastic activity).
Most often, the reason for bone loss is very low levels of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen plays an important role in building and maintaining your bones.
Risk Factors for thinning of bones
Sex: Women > men.
Age: Older > Young.
Race: You’re at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you’re white or of Asian descent.
Family history of osteoporosis
Smaller body frame tend to have a higher risk because they might have less bone mass as they age.
Modifiable Risk Factors
Current cigarette smoking
Early menopause (less than 45-year-old)
Low dietary calcium intake
Inadequate physical activity
What complications can occur due to thin bones?
Bone fractures, particularly in the spine or hip, are the most serious complications of osteoporosis
Hip fractures often are caused by a fall and can result in disability and even an increased risk of death within the first year after the injury.
In some cases, spinal fractures can occur even if you haven’t fallen.
Treatment / Management
Management of osteoporosis in women could be approached with two aspects, namely lifestyle modifications, and pharmacological therapy
Smoking cessation is strongly recommended, as smoking has been strongly associated with bone loss
How to Prevent?
One of the best ways to prevent weak bones is to work on building strong ones
Building strong bones during childhood and the teen years is important to help prevent osteoporosis later.
you can take steps to slow the natural bone loss with aging and to prevent your bones from becoming weak and brittle.
Good nutrition and regular exercise are essential for keeping your bones healthy throughout your life.
Calcium is found in your bones and teeth.
It helps build bones and keep them healthy.
Your body also uses calcium to help your blood clot and your muscles contract.
If you don’t get enough calcium each day from the foods you eat, your body will take the calcium it needs from your bones, making your bones weak.
Being underweight increases the chance of bone loss and fractures.
Excess weight is now known to increase the risk of fractures in your arm and wrist.
Maintaining an appropriate body weight is good for bones just as it is for health in general.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from the food you eat
Just eating foods with calcium is not enough. You also need to get enough vitamin D to help your body use the calcium it gets.
Your skin makes vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. In general, you need 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight to the hands, arms, and face, two to three times a week to make enough vitamin D
You can also get vitamin D from foods such as milk or from vitamin supplements.
Exercise can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.
Exercise will benefit your bones no matter when you start, but you’ll gain the most benefits if you start exercising regularly when you’re young and continue to exercise throughout your life.