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.



A Sampling of Today's Health News Headlines
L.A. Times - Health
L.A. Times - Health
Health news, science, advice and key articles.
05/16/2020 06:52 PM
L.A. County reports 1,073 new coronavirus cases, 40 deaths

coronavirus: Los Angeles County reports 1,073 new cases and 40 deaths

05/16/2020 06:49 PM
Preakness Stakes to be held Oct. 3, four weeks after Kentucky Derby

The Triple Crown picture got clearer when it was announced that the Preakness will be held Oct. 3. All that's still unknown is the date of the Belmont Stakes.

05/16/2020 05:11 PM
How many people are dying of coronavirus in Mexico? It's hard to say

In cities across Mexico, morgues are full and funeral homes are jammed but nobody knows for sure how many people have died in the COVID-19 pandemic.

05/16/2020 05:09 PM
Obama, in national commencement address, decries racial impact of COVID-19 deaths

President Obama gives back-to-back virtual graduation speeches, to historically black colleges and to high school students nationwide.

05/16/2020 04:55 PM
L.A. County health officials warn against drive-in graduation celebrations

As students graduate in Los Angeles County, public health officials are warning against marking the milestone with drive-in celebrations.

05/16/2020 04:46 PM
As states reopen, governors face tough choices amid deficits caused by coronavirus

Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged lawmakers to put politics aside and focus on helping New York and other states receive funding from the federal government.

Health : NPR
Health : NPR
05/16/2020 05:13 PM
Mystifying Virus Shapes Next Generation Of Doctors
The coronavirus is shaping a generation of incoming doctors, as their residency training inside U.S. hospitals brings them face to face with a mystifying disease and frequent death.
05/16/2020 03:05 PM
New Orleans Begins Re-Opening
The city began allowing some businesses such as gyms, salons and movie theaters, as well as churches to re-open — or expand their operations — in a limited capacity on Saturday.
05/16/2020 11:46 AM
5 USS Roosevelt Sailors Test Positive For COVID-19, Again
They had been thought to be cleared of the virus, which infected hundreds of crew members on the U.S. aircraft carrier in recent weeks. The sailors are receiving medical support on Naval Base Guam.
05/16/2020 10:33 AM
Italy Plans To Lift Some Coronavirus Travel Restrictions Early Next Month
In a decree issued Saturday, officials said they would once more allow travelers to and from the country beginning June 3. The announcement marks a major step in the hard-hit country's reopening plan.
05/16/2020 08:30 AM
Coronavirus World Map: Tracking The Spread Of The Outbreak
A map of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths around the world. The respiratory disease has spread rapidly across six continents and has killed thousands of people.
05/16/2020 08:21 AM
OPINION: We Shouldn't Have To Ask That Babies And Mothers Not Be Killed. Yet We Must
After a brutal attack in Kabul, activists in Afghanistan write: "Our people are targeted and killed on a daily basis. Afghan women are calling for an end to it."
FOX News
FOX News
FOXNews.com - Breaking news and video. Latest Current News: U.S., World, Entertainment, Health, Business, Technology, Politics, Sports.
05/15/2020 11:26 PM
Asian wet markets still ‘filthy’ despite coronavirus pandemic, PETA video shows
A shocking graphic video posted on Twitter this week shows conditions in Asian “wet markets” haven’t changed despite a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 307,000 people worldwide.
05/15/2020 03:26 PM
Blind study participants 'see' shapes via electrodes: study
Scientists used visual prosthetics to help blind people 'see' shapes, a report says.
05/15/2020 03:00 PM
Coronavirus survivors should wait 30 days before having sex again, official in this country says
Sorry, lovers: Those who have survived the novel coronavirus should wait at least 30 days before having sex again — according to officials in Thailand, at least. 
05/15/2020 02:48 PM
Dad uses coronavirus mask to tie umbilical cord after wife gives birth outside hospital: report
When the dispatcher told him to find something to tie the umbilical cord, David grabbed a coronavirus mask that was knitted by a relative.
05/15/2020 02:18 PM
With remdesivir scarcities, doctors advised to 'randomly allocate' drug to patients
Given the scarcity of remdesivir in some hospitals, one state health department advised a "random allocation" of the drug among patients.
05/15/2020 01:50 PM
First cases of possible coronavirus-linked inflammatory condition in children reported in Mississippi, Oregon
Oregon and Mississippi this week joined a seemingly growing list of states that have reported cases of a mysterious inflammatory illness in children that experts think is possibly related to the novel coronavirus.
05/15/2020 01:13 PM
US coronavirus death rate 20-fold greater than influenza: study
The death rate of coronavirus cases each week in the US lends a 20-fold increase over the worst week of seasonal influenza deaths, researchers say.
Copyright 2020 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.