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Signs You May Have Osteoporosis

You’ve always heard that you should eat a balanced diet to keep your bones strong, and it’s true. The average adult needs to consume about 1,000mg of calcium a day for optimal bone health, and after the age of 65, you should increase the amount by 200-500mg. 

Those who get enough calcium and vitamin D throughout their lives from their diets and also exercise regularly may be able to prevent osteoporosis, a loss of bone density that can lead to fractures.

Dr. Desh Sahni at Capital Brain and Spine sees the impact of osteoporosis in his patients in the Austin, Texas, area and treats their condition. He urges all of his patients to do their best to prevent osteoporosis, understand the risk factors, and know the warning signs.

Preventing osteoporosis

There many other foods that are also high in calcium that help prevent osteoporosis:

It’s important to also get enough vitamin D every day, too, so your body can absorb the calcium. Without enough vitamin D, the calcium may simply flush right through your system.

Certain types of exercises can also help build bone mass and keep osteoporosis at bay. Activities that involve a significant level of impact like running and weight lifting, and sports like tennis and basketball, are good bone builders.

Risk factors for osteoporosis

Not everybody will get osteoporosis, but some are more susceptible than others. Your risk for getting osteoporosis is higher if you:

While osteoporosis can happen to anyone of any ethnicity at any age, it’s most common in older caucasian women. 

Spot the signs of osteoporosis

Symptoms of low bone density are often clearer in hindsight and hard to identify as they occur, but a few signs can alert you to get checked, especially if you fall into one of the high-risk categories. Watch for:

Poor gum health

Osteoporosis can affect any bone in your body. If it happens to be in your jaw, the loss of bone can cause your gums to recede.

Low grip strength

One study revealed that a weak grip, which is common in postmenopausal women, is correlated with low bone mineral density.

Fragile fingernails

Your nails are a good indicator of the condition of your bones. If yours are chipping and breaking easily, and there is no obvious reason like your work, hobbies, or sports, then you might want to check to see if it could be related to osteoporosis.

Slumped posture and pain

When you lose bone density, the vertebra in your spine may become compressed and give your upper back a hunched appearance, also known as a widow’s hump. 

Your weakened vertebrae can also easily fracture, which results in back and neck pain

Fracture after minor movements

If you suffer a fractured bone after performing a simple task that requires little exertion, it might be a sign of osteoporosis. For instance, a broken rib after sneezing or a fractured wrist from bringing in groceries are possible indicators.

Addressing osteoporosis

If Dr. Sahni determines you have osteoporosis, it’s important to make changes in your lifestyle that will prevent it from progressing. Eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D and eliminating cigarettes and alcohol are a good start. He can also recommend appropriate exercises that are right for your age and condition. In some cases, he may prescribe medication designed to help rebuild bone density.

If you’ve already sustained a fracture, Dr. Sahni can treat that as well and help you learn how to prevent future bone breaks. Vertebral fractures may require kyphoplasty, a procedure that repairs the broken bone and restores height and function.

If you suspect you have signs of osteoporosis, don’t wait. Call us today or request an appointment online and get treatment before osteoporosis progresses.

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