Strong bones may de­crease os­teo­poro­sis

Vuk'uzenzele - - Health -

your bones dur­ing your youth can help pre­vent com­pli­ca­tions as you age.

thick­ness and strength. How­ever, as we get older, an im­bal­ance de­vel­ops and there is more break­down of bone than re­pair. The bones there­fore be­come thin­ner.

The body needs cal­cium for the nor­mal func­tion of all the cells. The bones form a sort of cal­cium bank for the body. If there is a short­age, then cal­cium will be drawn out of the bones and the bones will re­main lack­ing in cal­cium.

Why is this im­por­tant?

The im­por­tance of os­teo­poro­sis check-ups lies in the fact that the con­di­tion may cause se­ri­ous prob­lems. It is much more com­mon in women, es­pe­cially in menopause. About one third of women over the age of 65 will suf­fer a frac­ture of a ver­te­bra. An­other com­mon site of frac­tures in el­derly women is the hip bone.

Risk fac­tors

• Ge­netic fac­tors.

• A fam­ily his­tory of os­teo­poro­sis or a frac­ture due to os­teo­poro­sis.

• As women get older, the level of hor­mones, es­pe­cially oe­stro­gen, drops. This causes a de­crease in the ab­sorp­tion of cal­cium and a ten­dency to os­teo­poro­sis.

Med­i­cal and sur­gi­cal prob­lems

Cer­tain drugs cause loss of bone min­eral. These in­clude cor­ti­sone and anti-epilep­tic med­i­ca­tion. Hav­ing a hys­terec­tomy be­fore menopause, es­pe­cially if the ovaries are also re­moved, in­creases the risk of os­teo­poro­sis, as do over­ac­tive thy­roid or para-thy­roid glands.

Life­style

Life­style plays a very def­i­nite role in the de­vel­op­ment of os­teo­poro­sis. It can in­crease the like­li­hood or ag­gra­vate os­teo­poro­sis. Smok­ing, al­co­hol in­take, drink­ing a lot of tea or cof­fee, in­suf­fi­cient in­take of cal­cium and lack of weight-bear­ing ex­er­cises are some of the fac­tors.

How can os­teo­poro­sis be pre­vented?

Start by main­tain­ing bone health in your youth. These same bones will then be able to bet­ter re­sist os­teo­poro­sis in mid­dle and old age. Ex­er­cise reg­u­larly - walk or jog for an hour three times a week. Avoid or re­duce al­co­hol, smok­ing and tea and cof­fee in­take.

Diet and sup­ple­ments

In­crease your cal­cium in­take by drink­ing milk and eat­ing yo­ghurt and cheese. Cal­cium can also be taken in the form of a sup­ple­ment, par­tic­u­larly for women who can­not tol­er­ate dairy prod­ucts.

Preven­tion is bet­ter than cure

Os­teo­poro­sis poses a real threat to the well-be­ing and lives of mil­lions of women. It is much eas­ier to pre­vent it than to treat it. Life­style changes play as im­por­tant a role in your bone health as all the medicines that are or can be used.

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