6 early warning signs of osteoporosis
Here are some early warning indicators of osteoporosis to look out for:
- Brittle nails: The protein structure in the nails is held together through disulfide linkages. Bones are made up of collagen protein and calcium. If you've been complaining about brittle nails that chip or break easily, your nails' disulfide bonds may be weak and need to be reinforced. This could be true of your bones' disulfide bonds. Weak nails or vertical ridges on your nails may indicate that you need to increase your calcium intake.
- Teeth are falling out or your gums are receding: Because your teeth are supported by your jawbone, a loss of bone density in your lower jaw could be the cause of receding gums or tooth loss. The normal X-ray used by dentists can detect this. If your X-ray results worry your bone health, ask your dentist to share them with you at your visit. Follow up with a doctor to see if you're at risk of osteoporosis and what you can do to avoid it.
- Difficulty keeping things in your hands: If you have trouble opening a tin can, turning a doorknob, pushing a heavy door, or getting up from a seated position on the floor, your bones may require attention. There is a link between the power of your handgrip and muscle and bone density in your forearm, hip, and spine, especially in women, according to studies. Strengthening these muscles through weight-bearing activities or Yoga can help with posture and balance issues, lowering the risk of future falls.
- You're allergic to certain foods or have other health issues: If you have lactose intolerance or are following a rigorous gluten-free diet due to celiac disease, you are at a higher risk of osteoporosis because your body is unable to digest the nutrients that aid in bone formation. In addition to a lack of proper nutrition, two major autoimmune digestive diseases, namely, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, necessitate steroid treatment, which leads to additional bone loss. Due to reduced estrogen levels, women who have missed their periods for two to three months or more in a row (amenorrhea) due to severe exercise, have a low body mass index or an abnormally thin waist/frame, or have anorexia are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Obesity, weariness or difficulty concentrating, diabetes and hypogonadism are some of the factors that contribute to low testosterone levels in men, resulting in osteoporosis. You experience frequent cramps and aches as a result of your sedentary lifestyle.
- Body aches: If your lifestyle or job forces you to spend most of your time indoors and at your desk, you may be missing out on important physical activity and developing a vitamin D deficit, which is necessary for keeping healthy bones. Lack of activity can cause muscle stiffness and regular pains and cramps in your legs and calf muscles, particularly at night. A sedentary lifestyle is a known risk factor for osteoporosis.
- You've reached 50 years and old injuries start to bother you: You may have had a previous fall or injury and escaped without a major fracture. These may develop into future “fragility” fractures as you age and lose bone density when even a little fall or bodily impact can cause acute swelling and pain in a specific place. The wrist, hip, and spinal vertebrae are the most common fractures suffered by people with osteoporosis. These could be life-changing, but they're also readily avoidable.
What causes osteoporosis?
Bones are dynamic body tissue structures that constantly perform biochemical functions. They store calcium and other minerals that our bodies require regularly and give away calcium if blood calcium levels plummet.
These structures are constantly expanding, accumulating bone mass and density throughout childhood, adolescence, and youth until the age of 20 years, at which point the skeleton begins to “remodel” itself, discarding old bone tissue and accumulating new, healthier tissue.
Bone resorption is another name for this process. Bone tissue is lost quicker than it can be restored when the resorption process is hampered by lack of nutrition or calcium in our diet or other factors such as increased alcohol intake, smoking, or steroidal treatment.
Osteoporosis is the condition in which the bones become brittle and weak due to an increased amount of calcium being leeched in the blood.
This increases the risk of osteoporosis by widening the holes or pores within the internal structure of the bones.
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