Osteoporosis is a serious condition that goes beyond normal aging to rob bones of their density and strength. The symptoms of osteoporosis at first are very subtle and are nearly impossible to detect. If osteoporosis progresses, however, the symptoms can become noticeable in nearly every aspect of the body. Prevention, therefore, tends to be the key in dealing with osteoporosis.
In its more serious stage, osteoporosis is characterized by weak, brittle bones that break very easily. This is caused by a loss of bone density and mass. Some lessening of bone density is expected with age, but osteoporosis is not considered normal aging.
This condition takes it well beyond normal by creating a weakness so great that bones can be subject to breaking spontaneously. Many osteoporosis sufferers have reported fractures that have occurred through simple movement.
The symptoms of osteoporosis, unfortunately, do not normally appear until the condition has become quite serious. With this in mind, it is generally recommended that women and men with risk factors for its development take steps to keep the condition at bay.
Risk factors for the disease include being a woman, being of Caucasian or Asian ethnicity, family history, smoking, excessive drinking, improper diet, lack of estrogen and more. If the risk factors are present, it is generally suggested that people take steps to prevent the development of the condition.
While women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis, especially after menopause, men can contract the condition.
The symptoms of osteoporosis when they do appear can be quite serious. They include:
- Nighttime leg cramps. These can appear with a variety of other conditions, as well.
- Pain in the bones. This is common with a few other serious illnesses, too, so it should be reported to a physician immediately.
- Spine and muscle pain. If this isn’t caused by injury, it is worth bringing to a medical professional’s attention.
- Stomach pain. When abdominal pain occurs, it can be caused by a variety of sources, osteoporosis is just one of them.
- Tooth loss and disease. If the teeth are very unhealthy, it is possible the bones will be, too.
- Spinal deformities. A stooped posture, loss of height and so on are all considered symptoms of osteoporosis.
- Broken bones. This is generally the symptom that leads to a diagnosis. If fractures happen with little or no cause, osteoporosis is often to blame.
If the symptoms of osteoporosis have been detected, medical attention is very likely required. There are things that can be done to help lessen the impacts of osteoporosis and even help prevent more bone loss while working to build more.
In most cases, those who experience the symptoms of osteoporosis will be asked to:
- Take supplements. Adding more calcium and vitamin D to the diet can be incredibly useful for dealing with the symptoms of osteoporosis.
- Quit smoking, drinking and lessen caffeine intake. Removing these things from daily life can help improve the body’s ability to build and maintain bone mass.
- Start exercising. One of the best ways to actually build bone mass at any age is through exercise. If osteoporosis is advanced, the kind of exercise suggested will likely be very limited, but it can still help.
The symptoms of osteoporosis are such that waiting on them to show up isn’t wise. People with risk factors for the condition and anyone who is concerned about the disease’s potential should take steps to prevent its development.
Osteoporosis can be prevented or slowed in some cases.