what is osteoporosis

What is osteoporosis?...and how is it connected with menopause?

Strong bones are vital to healthy, active, independent living for all ages and both genders. But for women around the time of menopause and beyond, bone health is especially important. This is because estrogen, the hormone that drops around menopause, is also the hormone that slows bone loss. So, women at mid-life and beyond are especially vulnerable to osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones weak and fragile.

In fact, 80% of American women over the age of 50 show signs of osteoporosis.

SHOP NOW for Low Prices on Amazon's Top 100* Best Selling Calcium Supplements
+ Free Shipping & Returns on Eligible Items.
(*Amazon's Top 100 list updated hourly.)

How bone health affects life

Imagine what your life would be like if you couldn't sit up or stand straight... couldn't lift a little child... couldn't walk without help. Those are the consequences of the bone breaks most common to osteoporosis, striking the spine, the hip and wrist. Any of these bones if weakened by osteoporosis, can break during the simplest of daily movements, from climbing stairs to just bending forward.

Without regular screening and check-ups, the first sign of osteoporosis can be a broken bone. Other signs of the bone disease include:

• Sloping shoulders
• Curve in the back

• Height loss
• Back pain

• Hunched posture
• Protruding abdomen


The risk factors for getting osteoporosis are highest for older, white or Asian women who are menopausal and post-menopausal, have a thin, small body build, and a family history of osteoporosis. While those risks can't be controlled, certain lifestyle factors can.

Keeping bones strong at any age

The best way to prevent weak bones is to work on building strong ones -- since having optimal bone mass early in life can reduce one's the chances of developing osteoporosis later on. And, while bone density and bone strength peak before age 40, it's never too late to start.

Here are steps that all of us can take to promote bone formation and bone reabsorption while slowing bone loss and preventing bones from becoming weak and brittle:

  1. Get enough calcium. From food and supplements, women over 50 should get a minimum of 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day.
  2. Get enough Vitamin D. New research indicates that the overwhelming majority of people don't get enough Vitamin D, whether from sunlight, food or even many supplements. The Institute of Medicine suggests that adult women take 400 IU of vitamin D daily and upping this to 600 IU daily for women over age 70.
  3. Eat right to make sure you are getting adequate intake of iron, zinc, protein and antioxidants. Dairy products, lean meat, green, leafy vegetables and oranges are bone-happy foods.
  4. Avoid becoming overweight. Obesity can negatively effect bone health.
  5. Exercise. Physical activity in general, but especially weight-bearing activities can slow bone loss, improve muscle, and help balance (which is important in avoiding falls and fractures). Strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
  6. Don't smoke. It harms your bones, and depletes even more estrogen from the body.
  7. Drink alcohol moderately. Too much can make it harder for your body to use bone-building calcium, and can also affect balance.
  8. Be safe at home. Reduce your chance of falling: avoid scatter rugs and clutter that can be trip hazards.

Health Trends...

health dangers of obesity
Obesity boom amongst baby boomers

Baby boomers claim that their biggest fear is cancer. Yet the facts show that heart disease and diabetes should be on the top of that list.

A recent LifeGoesStrong poll indicates that 36% of boomers are obese (compared to 25% for the generations just above and below them) and an additional 36% are merely overwieght (though not categorized as obese).

While many baby boomers say they get some aerobic exercise, only about a quarter of them are getting the recommended 2-1/2 hours a week of exercise. And just 37% are performing the strength training that is crucial in fighting muscle loss.

Another contributing factor is that our consumption of high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods continues to increase.

These sobering statistics could definitely affect Medicare costs as the 77 million baby boomers begin turning 65. Obesity, along with its extra risk of heart disease, some cancers, sleep and respiratory problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis - will further those costs.

About 60% of boomers who were polled say they are dieting to lose weight. But, experts warn that it takes physical activity and not just dieting to lose pounds. Physical activity can help people prevent the mobility problems that often happen to sedentary people as they age. According to Jack Rejeski of Wake Forest University, a specialist in exercise and aging, dieting alone can often cause loss of precious muscle in addition to fat. He says, "Whether you're overweight or just the right size, physical activity can help stave off the mobility problems that often affect sedentary people. Muscles gradually become flabbier until people find themselves on the verge of disability." He led a study that found that a modest weight loss plan along with 2-1/2 hours of walking per week can significantly help people over the age of 60 improve their mobility. "I don't think there's any question the earlier you get started, the better," adds Rejeski.


From the Research Desk...

Weight has strongest influence on breast cancer hormones

London, England - Weight is the biggest factor affecting hormones that increase breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women, say researchers in the British Journal of Cancer.

The study, funded by Cancer Research UK, found that weight had the biggest influence on hormone levels - raising them all, especially estrogen, which can fuel breast cancer. Alcohol and cigarettes were the next things to affect hormone levels.

Dr. Julie Sharp, senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said in a press release: "We know that the risk of the disease can be affected by family history and getting older, but there are also things women can do to help reduce the risk of the disease. Maintaining a healthy body weight and reducing alcohol consumption are key to reducing breast cancer risk."

vitamin scamsNot all Vitamin D supplements contain what they say they do

White Plains, New York - A recent independent test on 28 Vitamin D supplements highlighted a variety of problems in 29% of the supplements reviewed, according to ConsumerLab.com.

One of the most popular supplements among consumers, Vitamin D sales rose from $72 million in 2006 to $429 million in 2009. In a ConsumerLab.com reader survey, 56% of respondents used the vitamin, and it ranked as number four in popularity.

In the testing, ConsumerLab.com found that the most common problem was the wrong amount of vitamins. In a children's gummy bear supplement, the bears contained 251% more Vitamin D than listed; a gummy product for adults contained only 32% of the listed Vitamin D; a liquid form of the supplement contained only 44% of the stated amount; and a tablet contained only 83% of the listed amount.

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol riskier than alcohol alone

Highland Heights, Kentucky - Alcohol with energy drinks may be riskier than alcohol alone, say Northern Kentucky University researchers, reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Fifty-six participants were given alcohol, an energy drink, an energy drink/alcohol combination or a placebo. Afterward, they were given a task that measured how quickly they execute actions, and were asked how they felt in terms of stimulation, sedation, impairment and levels of intoxication.

"A consumer of alcohol, with or without the energy drink, acts impulsively compared to when they had not consumed alcohol. However, the consumer of the alcohol/energy drink felt more stimulated compared to an alcohol-alone consumer. Therefore, consumption of an energy drink combined with alcohol sets up a risky scenario for the drinker due to this enhanced feeling of stimulation and high impulsivity levels," said Cecile A. Marczinski, first author of the study.

Low Prices on Best Selling CALCIUM
SUPPLEMENTS

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON

A Sampling of Today's Health News Headlines
L.A. Times - Health
L.A. Times - Health
Coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic and health news.
01/18/2022 10:24 AM
California surpasses 7 million coronavirus cases, adding 1 million in one week

The rise in reported cases is the fastest accumulation of infections in the history of the pandemic.


01/18/2022 08:00 AM
Podcast: The pandemic will end. We promise.

Let's put COVID-19 in perspective. Today we explore centuries of pandemics, how they all ended and what we've learned from them.


01/18/2022 08:00 AM
COVID surge, nurse burnout make mess out of hospital staffing

The hospital COVID census in San Bernardino County has nearly tripled from 398 before Christmas to 1,107 as of Jan. 13.


01/18/2022 06:00 AM
Op-Ed: In the Omicron surge, I am my family's anger translator

We are vaxxed. We wear masks. And still I'm sitting in a chair in Echo Park listening to my mother cough through the door, knowing we are on our own.


01/18/2022 06:00 AM
COVID killed droves of Indian health workers. Their families must fight for recompense

The struggle highlights the fragility of India's healthcare system as another wave of the coronavirus fueled by the Omicron variant gathers momentum.


01/17/2022 09:21 PM
L.A. County logs nearly tenfold increase in coronavirus cases in a month

L.A. County logged 31,576 new coronavirus cases on Monday, as well as 27 related deaths.


Health : NPR
Health : NPR
Health
01/18/2022 05:43 PM
Boris Johnson faces scrutiny for attending social gatherings that broke COVID rules
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing increasingly harsh criticism from members of his own party following a series of scandals in which he and his associates ignored COVID-19 protocols.
01/18/2022 05:27 PM
Patients are dying while waiting for specialized care because hospitals are full
Massachusetts hospitals have been struggling for weeks in a coronavirus-driven surge. Now, there are reports of patients dying because they couldn't be transferred to higher-level care.
01/18/2022 04:57 PM
In Afghanistan, a food crisis is worsening
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Filipe Ribeiro, the Afghanistan representative for Doctors Without Borders, to hear about the severe lack of food the country is facing.
01/18/2022 02:48 PM
Arkansas inmates are suing after being given ivermectin to treat COVID-19
Ivermectin has been hailed as a wonder drug for treating parasitic infections, but leading medical experts say the same isn't true for treating COVID-19.
01/18/2022 01:16 PM
The Postal Service is now taking orders for free COVID-19 test kits
The at-home tests are expected to be delivered by USPS later this month. The White House said the site is in "beta testing" and will be launched formally Wednesday.
01/18/2022 01:00 PM
A year in, experts assess Biden's hits and misses on handling the pandemic
When he came into office, Biden launched an ambitious seven-point plan for defeating the virus. Here's how experts score his results.
FOX News : Health
FOX News : Health
FoxNews.com - Breaking news and video. Latest Current News: U.S., World, Entertainment, Health, Business, Technology, Politics, Sports.
01/18/2022 04:21 PM
Red Cross offering free trip to Super Bowl 2022 in exchange for blood
Blood donors will be entered to win a chance to win a trip to California to watch the Super Bowl.
01/18/2022 01:10 PM
Omicron variant now 99.5% of US COVID cases, CDC says
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed Tuesday that the omicron variant of the coronavirus is now responsible for 99.5% of U.S. cases.
01/18/2022 10:17 AM
How to get an at-home COVID-19 test
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) website that allows Americans to request free COVID-19 tests has begun accepting orders.
01/18/2022 04:25 AM
Omicron ‘probably’ won’t be prevented by fourth vaccine jab, Israeli researcher says
Israeli researchers on Monday said preliminary data show a second booster shot of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will “probably” not create enough antibodies to prevent infection from the omicron variant.
01/17/2022 02:22 PM
Chris Evert's ovarian cancer diagnosis: What to know about prevention
Tennis legend Chris Evert recently revealed that she is battling stage 1C ovarian cancer. The 67-year-old tennis legend who has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and three Grand Slam doubles titles during her career, opened up about her diagnosis on Twitter and in an ESPN report that she co-wrote with her colleague, Chris McKendry.
01/16/2022 06:33 PM
Early-aging disorder claims life of young, beloved social media star Adalia Rose
Although many hope to discover the fountain of youth, there’s actually a gene that does the opposite, as social media sensation Adalia Rose Williams shared with the world through her rare genetic disorder that accelerates the appearance of aging, according to her Instagram page, which noted she died recently at age 15.
01/16/2022 12:19 PM
Trust your gut when it comes to sugar, study says
If your gut is telling you the difference between real sugar and an artificial sweetener, it may be right
 
Copyright 2022 ArkansasHealth.org. All rights reserved. rss Subscribe to our RSS
Information provided here should not be relied on to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition, disease or illness. Please consult with your physician or health care professional for guidance on any health concern. Arkansashealth.org is a commercial website and is not affiliated with any government agency, university, or private medical center. COMPENSATION DISCLOSURE: This site may be compensated for products promoted here. Read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.