Osteoporosis affects over 10 million Americans, most of which are women. This condition is characterized by a brittleness of bone and a high likelihood of fractures. But what causes this brittleness?
Bones are made to break down and to rebuild themselves over and over again during the course of one’s life. When one has osteoporosis, however, the bones can’t rebuild themselves as quickly as they break down, leading to weaker, hollower bones.
One of the obvious causes of this is a low-calcium diet carried out over the span of several years, or even over one’s entire lifetime. You and/or your aging loved one’s senior care aide should always make sure that your loved one is getting plenty of calcium to avoid this problem…even if this isn’t the one and only cause of osteoporosis. In actuality, osteoporosis is usually caused by a variety of factors, all of which you and your senior care aide should be on the lookout for.
Hormonal factors can play a role in osteoporosis as well. Estrogen deficiency in women has long been known as a contributing factor, which explains why post-menopausal women are the main target of osteoporosis. Once a woman has stopped menstruating, either because of menopause, because of a surgery, or even because she exercises too much or is anorexic (regardless of age), she is at a much higher risk for osteoporosis due to the lower levels of estrogen in her body.
Even though osteoporosis is more common in women, it occurs in men as well, and can often be linked with a deficiency in testosterone. There are also several other hormones that could cause the release of calcium in the urine, which can lead to too much calcium loss and weaker bones.
A lack of vitamin D in one’s diet can also lead to osteoporosis. Luckily, you can get vitamin D from certain types of milk, which can be considered “killing two birds with one stone,” since it takes care of both the vitamin D necessity as well as giving you plenty of calcium.
A sedentary lifestyle is another factor in osteoporosis, as well as in many other medical conditions. No matter what your elderly loved one’s level of capability is, they should be getting regular exercise, so as to keep their bodies and bones strong. Just sitting or lying around doesn’t do anyone any good, so as long as your loved one is able, they should be getting up and moving around as much as possible.
These are just a few of the many things that could contribute to osteoporosis, and luckily, most of these are things that you can work on. A healthier diet is an easy fix, as is getting your loved one up and moving more often. Any hormonal balances can be detected by a simple test at a doctor’s office, and knowing what your loved one’s risks are can make you better able to know how to keep them safe from osteoporosis. You should also take note of these risks yourself, especially if you are a woman, because the earlier you start working to prevent osteoporosis, the better chance you have of doing so.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Sewickley, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551