Risk Factors for and Prevention of Osteoporosis
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Risk Factors for and Prevention of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease with many risk factors. It can be treated with a variety of treaments like medications such as Boniva, Reclast, and Evista, hormones and even minerals. Several simple ways exist to prevent its occurrence including regular exercise, exposure to sunlight and a diet with good amounts of calcium.
      Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a weakening of the bone.  Though throughout life, the bone is being broken down and replaced, with osteoporosis bone gets broken down more than it is replaced.  This results in the bones becoming brittle.   The result of this bone weakening are bone fractures. Other symptoms include back pain, a Dowager's hump or kyphosis, and gradual height loss.  Diagnosis may be done with a routine physical with questions about your symptoms and health history, among other things. A bone density test may also be performed.

Risk factors

            Whether one develops osteoporosis is affected by risk factors like age, activity level, and nutrition.  When in your mid-20's, bone mass reaches its highest point.  By the start of middle age, bone loss begins.  However, not only an increase in age can raise your chance of developing the disease, but having a sedentary lifestyle can increase the possibility as well. This is so because performing weight-bearing exercises helps to make bones healthy.  And naturally, when you are sedentary, your body is not emgaged in much exercise.  Regarding nutrition, a diet with adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, needed to absorb calcium, is important.  Foods rich in calcium include milk, almonds, Chinese cabbage, kale, and tofu, among others.  For adequate amount of vitamin D, individuals can take in about 20 minutes of unfiltered sunlight daily.  Vitamin D supplements may also be taken.

            Various other risk factors are associated with the development of osteoporosis include taking medications used to prevent or deal with gastric reflux, depression, seizures, and cancer.  Also, long-term use of corticosteroids, such as prednisone is also associated with osteoporosis development.  Both men and woman may develop the disease as they get older, when there are decreases in testosterone (in men) and estrogen (in women).   Conversely, having too much of a hormone, like thyroid hormone from an overactive thyroid, is also associated with development of this illness.  Lastly, other risk factors for development include being of Asian or Causasian descent, being femail, being a women who has had children, and having weight-loss surgery, and having an eating disorder like anorexia.

Prevention

            Because osteoporosis affects the bones, building up them up as much as possible can help prevent its development.  When young, taking in adequate amounts of Vitamin D and calcium is important, as is doing weight-bearing exercises like jogging, racquetball and weight lifting. 

           Osteoporosis can also be prevented by taking care of the body by refraining from certain activities like smoking and drinking more than two alcoholic drinks daily.

           However, if the disease does develop, medications (like Reclast and Evista), hormones (such as estogen and parathryoid hormone) and minerals (like sodium fluoride) may be prescribed.  

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoporosis/DS00128

http://totalhealthbreakthroughs.com/2009/03/bone-up-on-osteoporosis/

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