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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

OSTEOPOROSIS

OSTEOPOROSIS

The meaning of the term ‘Osteoporosis’ originates from ‘Osteo’ meaning bone, and ‘porosis’ implying thinning or becoming more porous. Hence, osteoporosis literally means ‘thinning of bone’. Medically, Osteoporosis is a disease of bone in which the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced which means one has a low bone mass and deteriorating bone tissue. In simple words the bones become thin, brittle and may be easily broken. Bone mass (bone density) is the amount of bone present in the skeletal structure. The higher the density the stronger are the bones. Bone density is strongly influenced by genetic factors, which in turn are sometimes modified by environmental factors and medications.

If Osteoporosis is not prevented in the early stages or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until the bone tends to break. These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist. The fracture caused by osteoporosis can be either in the form of cracking (as in a hip fracture), or collapsing (as in a compression fracture of the vertebrae of the spine). Though thee spine, hips, and wrists are common areas of osteoporosis- related bone fractures almost any skeletal bone area is susceptible to osteoporosis- related fracture.

The consequences of osteoporosis may impair a person for life. A hip fracture may impair a person's ability to walk and may cause permanent disability or even death despite hospitalization and major surgery. The Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, including loss of height, severe back pain, and deformity. Osteoporosis can cause a person to stoop forward and appear to have a hump on his or her spine. While osteoporosis occurs in men and pre-menopausal women, the problem is predominant among postmenopausal women.

Though the disease can strike at any age statistics reveal:
-One in four women over the age of 50 has osteoporosis.
-One in eight men over 50 also has the disease.

Symptoms for Osteoporosis common signs and symptoms for Osteoporosis Many people do not realize they have osteoporosis until diagnosis reveals it has subsisted for a long period of time. The following are some of the common signs and symptoms indicating osteoporosis maybe affecting you:
-Acute onset of back pain (mid- lower back) without any specific reason
-Fracture in the thigh bone, hipbone or lower arm bone above the wrist.
-Sharp pain in the back, ribs, hip or wrist
-A hunched forward or bent stature
-Loss of height due to collapsing vertebrae.
-Stooped posture.
-Limited mobility

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis Although there are many ways to build stronger bones, those who are most prone to osteoporosis also must be aware of what behaviors and other factors can contribute to bone loss. The following are some bone robbers that you will want to avoid or limit for the health of your bones.

Alcohol. It's been suggested that small amounts of alcohol, say three to six drinks per week, may actually help your body to retain calcium and prevent osteoporosis by raising estrogen levels. But too much alcohol clearly weakens bones and damages your overall health. And the flip side to the estrogen coin is that the higher estrogen levels that are associated with moderate alcohol intake may be linked to an increased risk for breast cancer. So if you imbibe at all, go easy.

Smoking. Women who smoke tend to reach menopause earlier than nonsmokers, and this may be what increases their risk for osteoporosis. Smoking may also encourage bone loss in other ways that have yet to be identified. Ask your doctor for help in quitting.

Estrogen replacement therapy. After a woman experiences menopause, estrogen therapy can help forestall bone loss. The amount of estrogen required to both prevent bone loss and alleviate the symptoms of menopause is small, actually less than that in a typical birth control pill. Still, there are risks and possible side effects. So be sure to thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of estrogen replacement with your doctor.

Being overweight. This may be one of the few conditions where being overweight actually offer some protection. It's not known exactly why. It could be because the extra weight strengthens bone, or it could be that overweight women produce more estrogen than slender women. Considering the potential negative health effects that are associated with being overweight, such as the increased risks of high blood pressure and diabetes, it is not recommended that you purposely gain excess weight or stay overweight to prevent osteoporosis. However, it certainly highlights one of the many potential negative side effects of the waif-like, model-thin figure that is often glorified in the fashion industry and that is generally attainable only through disordered, unhealthy eating behaviors.

Pregnancy. Your risk of developing osteoporosis is greater if you have never been pregnant. Though being pregnant lowers your risk, it's not known if multiple pregnancies lower your risk further or whether, in fact, they might actually increase it.

Caffeine. Excessive caffeine intake, whether from coffee or other caffeinated drinks, can cause your body to lose calcium, but the effects are not quite as extreme as once thought. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee cancels the calcium in only about one tablespoon of milk.

Still, it's probably a good idea to keep your daily caffeine intake to no more than about three cups of brewed coffee or four cups of brewed tea. Keep in mind that other food products, including caffeinated soft drinks, can add to your caffeine intake.

Inactivity. It has been proven beyond a doubt that regular physical activity is absolutely crucial to maintaining bone health throughout your life, so being sedentary means you're missing a simple, inexpensive, low-risk way to prevent calcium from leaching out of your bones -- perhaps the simplest way to keep your bones healthy and strong. Indeed, it's like letting calcium simply slip through your fingers.

Protein. In the United States, we generally eat far more protein than we need for good health. And it's believed that a high protein intake causes calcium to be excreted. Over time, this calcium loss, if not compensated for with dietary calcium, will come from the bones.

Long-term use of certain medications. People suffering from asthma or rheumatoid arthritis who take cortisone (a steroid) for long periods may diminish the strength of their bones.

Being Female. Women are several times more likely to develop osteoporosis than are men.

Race. Caucasians are at greater risk for developing osteoporosis than darker-skinned people are. Far fewer black women develop osteoporosis than do whites. People of Asian descent are also at higher risk for osteoporosis.

Bone structure. Small or petite women are at greater risk because of their small bones. If they experience the same rate of bone loss as larger women, they will develop osteoporosis sooner, simply because they have less bone to start with.

Early menopause. The earlier a woman experiences menopause, the greater her risk of osteoporosis. Risk also increases if a woman has a surgical menopause -- a hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus, or a double oophorectomy, or removal of both ovaries -- at an early age and is not put on hormone replacement therapy. If only the uterus is removed but the ovaries are left intact, the woman will likely experience normal menopausal symptoms in her early 50s, on average, and her risk will not be increased.

Family history. Many women with osteoporosis have at least one family member who has the disease. Still, a lack of family history doesn't rule out the possibility that a woman will develop osteoporosis.

The fight against osteoporosis is a lifelong one. It is never too early to start the proper behavior that will help protect your bones in the long run. In the next section, we'll provide several home remedies in the form of lifestyle choices that you can make to prevent or hinder osteoporosis.

Causes for Osteoporosis

Most Common Causes for Osteoporosis There are multiple reasons that could lead to osteoporosis.
Here are some of the most common reasons that have been known to cause osteoporosis:
-Among women the deficiency of Estrogen (a group of hormones) post menopause has been correlated to a rapid reduction in BMD.
-The increased risk of falling associated with aging, leads to fractures of the wrist, spine and hip.
-Other hormone deficiency states can lead to osteoporosis, such as testosterone deficiency. Glucocorticoid or thyroxine excess states also lead to osteoporosis.
-Not eating foods rich in Calcium, Vitamin D and Phosphorous can also cause bone loss. Calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency from malnutrition also increases the risk of osteoporosis.
-Some medicines can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium. This may cause the bones to weaken. These medications include cortisone/corticost eroids, anticoagulants, thyroid supplements, and some anti-convulsive drugs.
-Other illnesses or diseases, such over-active thyroid, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may also cause bone loss. A disease such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia can cause changes in a person's estrogen level and lead to osteoporosis.
-Other significant factors leading to the onset of osteoporosis include: smoking cigarettes, high intake of alcohol, tea or coffee, low levels of physical activity (weight bearing exercise), and family history.

Remedies for Osteoporosis
Simple tips to tackle Osteoporosis If Osteoporosis has been diagnosed in the early stages one can follow a simple routine to regain health naturally.

Here are some simple tips to tackle osteoporosis sans medication:

-Exercise to build strong bones: Exercise for atleast thirty minutes comprising of weight-bearing exercise such as walking or jogging, three times a week. This regime has been proven to increase bone mineral density, and reduce the risk of falls by strengthening the major muscle groups in the legs and back.

-Water Walking: is another suggested exercise to combat osteoporosis. Walking in chest-deep water for about 30 minutes at least three times a week is a suggested remedy as water helps support the body weight and take stress off bones and joints.

-Dandelion Tea: Drink dandelion leaf tea to help build bone density

-Higher intake of Soy products: As Hormonal imbalances can contribute to bone loss, eating more soy products or taking a supplement that contains soy isoflavones, the active ingredient in soybeans helps balance estrogen levels. One should get at least 40 mg of soy isoflavones in a daily diet or by taking isoflavone supplements.

-Chaste Berry: Chaste berry contains vitexicarpin and vitricin, which help to keep hormone levels in balance. It is advisable to take atleast 250 mg a day of a standardized extract of this herb every day for two to three months.

-Dong Quai: Dong quai has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to address menstrual disorders, PMS, and infertility. It also helps keep hormone levels in balance. It is advisable to take 250 mg of a standardized extract of dong quai daily as a tonic herb.

-Black Cohosh: A recent study indicates this popular herb may help prevent osteoporosis. Most studies recommend an intake of either 20 or 40 mg of black cohosh extract twice a day.

-Sesame seeds: A handful of sesame seeds had every morning may also help osteoporosis.

-Almond Milk: Another home remedy for osteoporosis is calcium- rich almond milk. One can have the almond milk by soaking the almonds in warm water, peeling it and blending it with either cow milk, goat’s milk or soya milk.

Home Remedies from the Cupboard

Beans. Take a can of beans -- or any one-pound can -- and do a few biceps curls. These cans are a perfect weight for beginners and will help you begin to build a little muscle. And strengthening your muscles helps strengthen your bones.

Peanut butter. A recent review of studies on nutrition and osteoporosis found that magnesium was a vital component to strengthening, preserving, and rebuilding bones. You can get 50 mg of magnesium by eating 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

Vinegar. A splash of vinegar when you are cooking soup will help pull calcium out of bones. It does the same thing for salad greens, so you should make it your new favorite dressing!

Home Remedies from the Fruit Basket

Apples. Boron is a trace mineral that helps your body hold on to calcium -- the building block of bones. It even acts as a mild estrogen replacement, and losing estrogen is instrumental in speeding bone loss. Boron is found in apples and other fruits such as pears, grapes, dates, raisins, and peaches. It's also in nuts such as almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts.

Banana. Eat a banana a day to build your bones. Studies have found that women who have diets high in potassium also have stronger bones in their spines and hips. Researchers think this is related to potassium's ability to keep blood healthy and balanced so the body doesn't have to suck calcium from the skeleton to keep blood up to par.

Home Remedies from the Refrigerator

Broccoli. Eat 1/2 cup broccoli to get your daily dose of vitamin K. Studies are finding that postmenopausal women with low levels of this vital vitamin are more likely to have osteoporosis.

Figs. This Mediterranian delight is packed with calcium.

Leafy greens. Romaine lettuce, spinach, collards, and kale are good choices.

Margarine. Slather a teaspoon of low trans fatty margarine on your toast for a dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, a necessary ingredient to bone health.


Milk. When it comes to strong bones, getting enough calcium is a must. One cup of milk can provide 300 mg of the 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium the government recommends you get every day.

Orange juice. Grab a glass of OJ to get your vitamin C. Necessary for the body processes that rebuild bones, getting enough vitamin C is vital to preventing osteoporosis. Grab some calcium-fortified orange juice and get a healthy dose of bone-building nutrients.

Pineapple juice. Drink a cup of pineapple juice and give your body some manganese. Studies are finding that manganese deficiency is a predictor of osteoporosis. Other manganese sources are oatmeal, nuts, beans, cereals, spinach, and tea.

Salmon and Sardines. Both of these delicious fishes are high in calcium, and salmon is also a good source of vitamin D.

Tofu. Soy is showing promise as a potential bone strengthener. Soy contains proteins that act like a weak estrogen in the body. These "phytoestrogens, " or plant-based estrogens, may help women regain bone strength.

Yogurt. The lactose, or sugar, in yogurt, has already been broken down, so even many people who are lactose intolerant can eat it and get the benefits of the high calcium content. Eat it with fresh fruit or substitute it for sour cream in recipes.

Home Remedies from the Supplement Shelf

Calcium. If you don't get enough calcium in your diet, be sure to use a supplement to help prevent osteoporosis.

Our calcium needs vary throughout our lives. An adequate intake, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, is 1,300 milligrams (mg) for boys and girls ages 9 to 18; 1,000 mg for men and women ages 19 to 50; and 1,200 mg for people over 50 (the intake for older adults is higher because with age the body naturally loses some of its ability to absorb the mineral). Most of us don't come close to reaching the recommended adequate intake.

Here are some simple tricks for sneaking more calcium into your diet:

Use milk instead of water to mix up hot cereals, hot chocolate, and soups.
Substitute plain yogurt for half the mayonnaise in dressings.
Add liquid or powdered skim milk to coffee instead of oily nondairy creamer or fattening cream.
Get started today by following the simple home remedies outlined in this article. Your bones will thank you.

Diet for Osteoporosis
Some diet tips to keep osteoporosis at bay One needs to bring a few changes to lifestyle factors and diet to overcome the effects of osteoporosis.

Here are some diet tips one can adhere to and keep osteoporosis at bay:

-It is recommended that one should include 1500mg of calcium daily either via dietary means or via supplementation. For measurement purposes, it is important to note that an 8 oz glass of milk contains approximately 300 mg of calcium. Calcium supplements are an effective alternative option. These come in a variety of forms. The body can absorb only about 500 mg of calcium at one time and so intake should be spread throughout the day.

-Bones need nourishment from calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorous. A poor diet lacking these essential vitamins and minerals contributes to osteoporosis. Foods rich in calcium are especially necessary to maintaining healthy bones. Dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt) salmon, sardines, almonds, dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli are good sources of calcium.

-Apparently, bones are not made from calcium alone. They're an amalgam that includes various minerals such as zinc, boron and copper. Doctors suggest that these trace elements can be ingested through a varied and broad-based diet that includes mostly unprocessed foods, such as whole grains, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish and lean meat.

-Foods high in boron (a mineral that helps the body hold calcium) are beneficial for those affected by osteoporosis. Boron is found in apples, pears, grapes and other fruit, as well as in legumes, nuts and honey.

-Manganese is another beneficial mineral. Traces of manganese are largely found in pineapples, nuts, spinach, beans and whole wheat.

-Brussels sprouts are known to prevent diseases like cancer, birth defects, osteoporosis and heart trouble. Brussels sprouts provide essential vitamin K (this vitamin activates a protein found in bones, call osteocalcin, which holds calcium molecules in place) helps protect against osteoporosis.

-Inculcate a life style change by quitting cigarette smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and exercising regularly. It is important to note that a few studies have suggested an adverse effect of calcium excess on bone density and reports indicate the milk industry has been misleading customers. It has been reported that excess consumption of dairy products may cause acification, which leeches calcium from the system. Therefore, it is claimed that vegetables and nuts are a better source of calcium and milk products are better avoided.

1 comment:

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