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What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis (meaning ‘porous bones’) is a silent disease that causes bones to be thin, weak and brittle. On the inside of a normal healthy bone are small spaces, whereas osteoporosis increases the spaces causing the bones to lose strength and density. Meanwhile, the outside of the bone becomes weaker and thinner. As a result, even a minor bump or accident can cause a fracture in people with osteoporosis.   Capture

Risk factors

Osteoporosis affects both men and women of all races, however, white and Asian women, especially those who are past menopause, are at highest risk. In Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported in 2017-2018, 29% of women aged over 75 had osteoporosis compared to 10% of men. unnamed Unchangeable risk factors:

  • Age: The older you are the greater the risk
  • Race: Greater risk in people of white or Asian descent
  • Female gender
  • Family history of osteoporosis

Menopause and osteoporosis

The peak of strength and bone mass in women is around the age of 25-30 years old in which the body has stopped growing and bones are the strongest and thickest. After this period and especially after menopause, the bone mass begins to decline due to decreasing oestrogen levels. The female hormone oestrogen plays an important role in maintaining bone health by inhibiting bone resorption.

Prevention and treatment for osteoporosis

There are many well researched preventative and management measures for osteoporosis. Put simply, good nutrition and regular exercises are essential for healthy bones throughout everyone’s lives.

  • Calcium and Vitamin D
  • Calcium is the main mineral within the human skeleton while vitamin D improves the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
  • It is recommended in men and women aged 18-50 to consume 1000mg of calcium daily. The recommended daily amount increases to 1200mg when women turn 50 and men turn 70.
  • As for Vitamin D, the daily recommended amount is 600 international units (IU). The recommendation increases to 800 IU after age 70.
  • Eating an alkaline diet (green leafy vegetables) reduces inflammation and bone depletion
  • It is always best to meet the daily recommendations through natural sources including food, sunlight. Otherwise, a good quality supplement can assist in meeting the recommended amounts.
  • Exercise
  • Weight-bearing exercises on your feet, with your bones supporting your body weight. For example, bushwalking, dancing, stair climbing, gardening.
  • Resistance training using free weights such as dumbbells and barbells, elastic resistance bands, or weight-training machines. Strength training not only improves muscle strength but also improves your bone health by putting strain on the bones, which makes them stronger. As your body adapts to each new level, you will need to increase the resistance to continue to improve bone strength
  • Balance exercises as falls are most commonly caused due to lack of balance. You can improve your balance in both standing still and through movement. It is absolutely vital in having good balance if you have osteoporosis, as if you fall, there is an increased risk of fracture.
  • Impact exercises are also very beneficial – but only if it does not aggravate or injure you – so please talk to your health care practitioner first. Below is a video demonstrating 3 simple impact exercises.

Have you wondered about the health of your bones? Do you know someone who suffers from osteoporosis? If you want to increase the functioning of your nervous system, improve your overall health, and strengthen your bones all in one simple action, then call 6299 2660 to discuss further the health of your body and bones.

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