Osteoporosis is one of the most common ailments of adults over the age of 50 and it is definitely a problem that people do not want to live with. Weak bones lead to fractures and many other scary problems that could leave you disabled.
Before turning into full-blown osteoporosis, osteopenia – the process of thinning bones – precedes the ailment. There are some warning signs to look for to determine if your bones are in fact thinning.
Here are some warning signs for osteoporosis:
- Warning Sign #1 – You’ve had more than one fracture in the past two years or a fracture that seemed pretty severe considering the circumstances.
- Warning Sign #2 – You are naturally a small or thin person.
- Warning Sign #3 – You have an autoimmune condition that causes you to take prednisone or another corticosteroid.
- Warning Sign #4 – You are a smoker and have been throughout your adult life.
- Warning Sign #5 – You drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day.
- Warning Sign #6 – You do not drink milk or you have a lactose intolerance that prevents you from drinking milk.
- Warning Sign #7 – You have an eating disorder.
- Warning Sign #8 – You are an Asian or Caucasian female over the age of 50.
- Warning Sign #9 – You have a family member who had osteoporosis before the age of 50 or before menopause.
So, what can you do to prevent your bones from thinning? Look over the warning signs and risks to determine how high of a risk you are to have osteoporosis.
Keep these tips in mind:
- If you smoke, quit!
- Curb the number of alcoholic drinks that you consume and drink only socially.
- Compile a family history and be aware of the medical conditions of your first and second degree relatives.
- Be sure to take a supplement with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.
- Eat a diet high in dairy and other calcium-rich foods.
- Have a bone density test done, also called a DXA scan or densitometry, which uses a special X-ray to measure the amount of calcium and bone-hardening materials in the bone segments. Doctors rely on the bone density tests to tell a lot about a person’s bones. The test can tell whether your bones are porous, which make them fragile, or if they are dense and solid.
If you are concerned about your risk factors and how many warning signs that you said “yes” to, it is always best to consult your physician. They can conduct the proper testing to determine your risk factor and also prescribe bone-strengthening hormones to help build up your bone strength, thereby lessening your risk of having osteoporosis.