7 Surprising Facts About Osteoporosis
The Silent Disease
Osteoporosis is known as the silent disease because those who have it dont know they do, especially when its in its early stages. Sometimes, the disease can be hidden until something as small as a sneeze causes a broken bone. Because of its silence, it is recommended that women 65 and older, men 70 and older, and younger people with risk factors, should take a bone mineral density test.
Anorexia is a Factor
Having the eating disorder anorexia nervosa can lead to osteoporosis. According to the NIH, affected individuals can experience nutritional and hormonal problems that negatively impact bone density. If you once had anorexia, but are not now, you may still be at risk for the disease. Studies suggest that girls with anorexia are less likely to reach their peak bone density, leading them to have an increased risk for osteoporosis and bone breaks throughout life.
Being Heavier Helps
People at risk for osteoporosis are more often thin. Studies have shown that restrained eaters have shown significantly lower bone mineral content and bone mineral density than those whose eating habits were less, well, restrained. However, that does not mean eating excessively and gaining too much weight is encouraged. Moderation is best.
Adding Up the Risks For Women
Women in particular need to take care of their bones the odds are stacked up against them. Take a look at the statistics: During the five to seven years after menopause, women can lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass. A womans risk of hip fracture is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancers. Additionally, out of every 10 people that have osteoporosis, 8 are women.
Be Vision Ready
One way you can prevent falls and breaks is to take care of your eyes. It may seem unrelated at first, but the NIH cites poor vision as a common reason for falls. Preventative measures include adding more lights in your home and keeping a flashlight next to your bed.
The Future of Osteoporosis
More women will develop osteoporosis in the not too distant future, speculates Dr. Therese Rosellini from Sutter Medical Group in Elk Grove, California. The reason she cites: todays menopausal women are increasingly anti hormone replacement therapy, making them more vulnerable to bone loss because of decreased estrogen.