Tag Archives: Bone density

Calcium Every Day Keeps Fractures Away

Debility, illness and loss of independence are assumed to be an inevitable part of ageing. In  Indian society , where there are no health benefits and minimal social security, old age can be frightening. Unfortunately, young people do not realise that if they take remedial action, some of the incapacitating changes of ageing like osteoporosis are preventable.

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Osteoporosis occurs because of calcium deficiency the bones became fragile and brittle. This means that the slightest trauma can lead to a fracture. In India, the incidence of osteoporosis is high and, with our ageing population, it will only climb.

Patients do not realise that anything is wrong until the first fracture. The trauma that caused the break need not be severe; a trivial fall may be sufficient. The commonest sites are the wrist and the hip. Treatment usually requires setting the bone surgically and screwing it into place. Healing is a long-drawn-out and painful process. Fear of surgery may lead people to native bonesetters, who set fractures with bandages and egg whites. But these ancient treatments are not successful in osteoporosis, especially when the fracture occurs in a deep-seated bone like the hip.

Apart from fractures, early signs of osteoporosis are a decrease in height as the spinal vertebrae grind into each other. This also results in a stooped appearance with a “dowager’s hump”.

The only way to avoid osteoporosis is to have enough calcium, which is necessary not only for healthy bones but also for the proper functioning of cells and enzymes. If there isn’t enough calcium in the blood, the body gets it from the bones. If this calcium is not replaced, the bones become increasingly fragile. Bones are built up in childhood, adolescence and the early twenties. So it should be ensured that the body gets enough calcium during this period. The final strength of the bones is determined by genes but diet and lifestyle can modify this.

The body gets calcium from dairy products such as milk and cheese (processed as well as cottage). Other calcium-rich foods are sardines, custard apples and green leafy vegetables. To absorb dietary calcium, the body also needs 400 IU of vitamin D, 400mg of magnesium and 110 micrograms of vitamin K. The skin can synthesise sufficient vitamin D from sunlight but the problem is that most people either work indoors or use sunscreen and umbrellas. The other source of vitamins is green leafy vegetables. However, the requisite amounts of these vitamins are usually not available in a normal diet. Therefore, you need calcium supplements, most of which contain additional vitamins and minerals to aid absorption.

Calcium supplements are best absorbed if taken after meals in 500mg doses several times a day. Other minerals such as iron and zinc interfere with calcium absorption. Even though many people need supplements of all these elements, they have to be given separately or at least 12 hours apart. A common mistake is to try and combine all these ingredients into one giant biologically ineffective capsule or tablet.

The other thing that can interfere with calcium absorption is too much protein, caffeine (coffee and cola) or alcohol in the diet. There is a demonstrated difference between the bone density of people who drink colas every day and those who drink it once a month.

Osteoporosis can also occur as a side effect of medication like corticosteroids (called secondary osteoporosis). These are prescribed for ailments such as arthritis or asthma and patients are sometimes not aware that they have been given steroids on a long-term basis. Sometimes, it is part of the unlabeled medication dispensed by practitioners of alternative medicine.

Some antacids contain aluminium, which acts as “bone poison” and interferes with the incorporation of calcium into the bones, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Thyroid disorders or malfunctioning parathyroid glands can also increase the risk of developing the disease. Lactose (milk) intolerance results in an inadequate intake of milk and dairy products with subsequent calcium deficiency.

It is never too late to contain osteoporosis. Physical activity helps bones retain and even gain density all through life. Effective exercises are running, jogging, skipping, stair-climbing, tennis and badminton. Exercise also improves muscle strength and coordination so that falls and injuries are less. One should exercise for an hour every day, all through life. Although exercise at any age is a boon to health, to build bone strength one needs to be regular and consistent.

Daily calcium requirement

• 1-3 yr: 700mg
• 4-8 yr: 1,000mg
• 10-20 yr: 1,300mg
• 20-70 yr: 1,000mg
• Women over 50: 1,200mg
• Men over 71: 1,200mg

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Protein Intake Increases Hip Fracture Prevention

Higher levels of protein intake may lower the risk of hip fractures in seniors, according to a study published in Osteoporosis International.
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A team of researchers from the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston enrolled 946 elderly participants in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study, which examined the effects of consuming higher amounts of protein.

The results of the study showed that individuals who had the lowest protein intake were 50 percent more likely to suffer from hip fractures.

While other studies have found that protein intake is associated with an increase in bone mineral density, the researchers from this study stated that a higher intake of protein also builds strong muscles in the legs, which lowers the possibility of falling and suffering a hip fracture.

Marian T. Hannan, lead author and co-director at the Musculoskeletal Research Program at the Institute for Aging Research, stated that “[the] study participants who consumed higher amounts of protein in their diet were significantly less likely to suffer a hip fracture.”

People who wish to add more protein to their daily diet can benefit from consuming fish, leaner meats, dairy products, as well as different types of beans, which are all high sources of protein, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.


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Source :Better Health Research. July 22. 2010

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Warning! Don’t Take Another Drug Until You Read How You’re Being Conned…

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become thinner, more porous and break more easily. Osteopenia is different from osteoporosis — it is a slight thinning of bones that occurs naturally as women get older and typically doesn’t result in disabling bone breaks.


Osteopenia is a condition that only recently started to be thought of as a problem that required treatment. Until the early 1990’s, only a handful of people had even heard of the word. But osteopenia has transformed from a rarely heard word into a problem that millions of women swallow pills to treat.

The term “osteopenia” was never originally meant to be considered as a disease — it was a research category used mostly because some thought it might be useful for public health researchers who like clear categories for their studies.

But in 1995, a man named Jeremy Allen was approached by the drug company Merck. The pharmaceutical giant had just released a new osteoporosis drug called Fosamax. Since osteoporosis is a serious problem that affects millions of women, the potential market for Fosamax was enormous. But the drug wasn’t selling well.

Allen persuaded Merck to establish a nonprofit called the Bone Measurement Institute. On its board were six of the most respected osteoporosis researchers in the country.

But the institute itself had a rather slim staff: Allen was the only employee.

In 1997 the institute and several other interested organizations successfully lobbied to pass the Bone Mass Measurement Act, a piece of legislation that changed Medicare reimbursement rules to cover bone scans. More and more women got bone density tests (at Merck’s urging), and the very existence of the word “osteopenia” on a medical report had a profound effect.

Millions of women were worried by the diagnosis. And when clinicians saw the word ‘osteopenia’ on a report, they assumed it was a disease. Merck did not disabuse them of the notion.

There are no long-term studies that look at what happens to women with osteopenia who start Fosamax in their 50’s and continue treatment long-term in the hopes of preventing old-age fractures. And none are planned.

Resources:
WHO FRAX
NPR December 21, 2009
NPR 2009 (Sample Radiology Report)

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Cell Phone on Hip May Weakens Your Bones

Research suggests that wearing a cell phone on your hip may weaken an area of your pelvis. Using an X-ray technique used in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with osteoporosis, researchers measured pelvic bone density in 150 men who regularly carried their cell phones attached to their belts.
…………………wearing a cell phone on your hip
The men carried their phones for an average of 15 hours each day; they had used cell phones for an average of six years.

The researchers found that bone mineral density was lowered on the side of the pelvis where the mobile phones were carried. The findings raise the possibility that bone density could be adversely affected by electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones.

Resources:
WebMD October 27, 2009
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery September 2009;20(5):1556-60

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Osteoporosis

X-ray showing a the proximal portion of a frac...
Image via Wikipedia

What It Is

Osteoporosis, derived from the Latin for porous bones, is a progressive condition that diminishes the mass (mineral content) of bones and weakens their structure, making them highly susceptible to fracture. Half of postmenopausal women, and up to one in eight older men, will suffer a fracture as a result of osteoporosis. No single measure is sufficient to prevent the disorder, but a combination of supplements and lifestyle changes can be effective in limiting damage.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become weaker and more likely to break. And what’s worse, you may not even feel it happening.

How do your bones get weaker? Your bones are living tissue. They constantly renew themselves with cells that build bone and cells that take away bone. With osteoporosis, your bones lose density, making them weaker and more likely to fracture.

……...

To get an inside look at the effects of osteoporosis, the pictures  below is to explain the difference between healthy bones and osteoporotic (or weak) bones.

Because your bones are living tissue,they are constantly renewing themselves.However when the cells are taken away bone work faster than the cells that built bone, that can cause bone loss. And over the time,it can lead to osteoporosis.

…………………>normal_cells_image.Between healthy bones and osteoporotic bone, there is osteopenic bone (low bone mass). This occurs which bone mass is just below normal, but not quiet osteoporotic. And that means your bones are weakening and loosing mass- a condition that may eventually lead to                           osteoporosis.>.cell_image2- Osteopenia.When the normal bone is viewed under microscope, parts of it  look like a honeycomb. But if you have osteroporosis, the space inside the honeycomb become longer. That means you are loosing bone density.and you get osteoporosis->cell_image3-Osteoporosis

What Causes It

The decline in estrogen after menopause is directly related to the dramatic rise of osteoporosis in older women. This hormone assists the body in absorbing calcium and keeps the bones strong. (Older men experience osteoporosis as well; but because they have denser bones, bone loss is generally less severe.) Lack of regular weight-bearing exercise is another risk factor, as is a diet low in calcium and other nutrients necessary for optimal bone production. Your risk of osteoporosis is also higher if you’re small boned (white and Asian women tend to be small boned), underweight, or postmenopausal; if you have a family history of osteoporosis; or if you’ve taken steroids or anticonvulsants for long periods.

Symptoms

The first sign can be dramatic: a severe backache or a fracture (often of the spine, hip, or wrist.
Other classic symptoms include a gradual loss of height accompanied by the initially subtle development of a stooped posture (dowager’s hump).
Dental X rays may detect early osteoporosis by revealing bone loss in the jaw.

To get better knowledge about Osteoporosis and to learn how we can try to escape from it, we may visit these sites:

Aerobics for Your Bones
Arming Yourself Against Osteoporosis

Better Late than Never
Breaking the Bad News
Can Birth Control Pills Weaken Your Bones?

Exercise Today Keeps Osteoporosis Away
Extra A Not Acceptable

Maintain Strong Bones with Exercise

Treatment options- Latest Advances Trustworthy, Current Report
Natural Calcium Suppliment

Supplement Recommendations

Calcium
Vitamin D
Magnesium
Boron
Vitamin C
Zinc/Copper
Manganese

Click to learn more about Osteoporosis

BBC NEWS on Osteoporosis

You may click to see->
New treatment for osteoporosis :

Risedronate Reduces Hip Fracture Risk in Elderly Osteoporotic Women

Once a year osteoporosis jab reduces fractures and saves lives

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

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