Osteoporosis is a largely non-curable ailment, but there are ways in which it can help to be prevented and the rate of the loss of bone reduced.
Everyone’s bones experience loss of tissue and become less dense as they grow older. Some people suffer particularly severe cases of this and is linked to an increased propensity to suffer bone fractures, this is a condition known as osteoporosis.
How Does Osteoporosis Occur in the Human Body
During the human life, the tissue that makes up our bones is constantly broken down and replaced through a process called bone turnover. At the age of 25 years old, bone mass will be at its peak but will start to gradually break down and become less dense as the body struggles to keep up with the bone turnover. This is a normal process of ageing and bone mass will usually stay within a range that is comfortable for most people.
However, sometimes bone mass will fall below this comfortable limit and becomes more porous and weak and is seen to fracture far easier after minor knocks and falls, commonly in the wrist, spine and hip.
There are a Number of Aspects that Cause Osteoporosis
Around 55 per cent of people over the age of 50 years old have a low bone mass, putting them at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis and other related conditions. A number of factors can increase the risk of contracting this disease including a persons’ genetic make up. Osteoporosis often runs in families and genes are thought to play a large role in determining when someone’s bone mass peaks and the risk of their bones becoming too dense.
Women can see a loss of up to 20 per cent of their bone mass in the seven years that follow the menopause, which is linked to lower levels of oestrogen. Those who experience the menopause early will therefore be at a far greater risk of contracting the ailment in later life, as they will spend more years with low oestrogen levels.
Diet and Lifestyle can Play a Major Role in Avoiding Osteoporosis
A lack of calcium in someone’s diet, particularly during childhood and adolescence can play a significant role in maximum bone density levels. The body must also be given the full range of vitamins and minerals, predominantly vitamin D, to aid calcium absorption.
Regular exercise is also vital to help maintain bone strength and a lack of physical activity or a long-term immobility can have serious consequences. Smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol can also increase the chance of suffering from osteoporosis.