Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak and can break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, from a simple action such as a sneeze. It is a global health problem. Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis. An estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis. Of these eight million are women and two million are men.
 Why should I be aware of this?
- Osteoporotic fractures have physical, psychological and social implications that can seriously affect patients' quality of life.
- It is not incurable and can be managed.
- Currently available therapies have been shown to reduce the risk of fragility fractures in postmenopausal women. Most patients gain bone mineral density within a year of treatment. However, surveys of osteoporotic patients show that compliance to treatment is low in practice, and up to 50% of patients stop their treatment within a year due in part to side-effects.
- Osteoporosis and related fractures are more common than coronary disease, stroke and breast cancer. Fractures resulting from osteoporosis can affect a patient's quality of life, as well as result in functional impairment and increased health care cost and mortality.
 All about osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures of hip, spine, and wrist.
 What happens in osteoporosis?
In osteoporosis, the inside of the bones becomes porous from a loss of calcium. This is called losing bone mass. Over time, this weakens the bones and makes them more likely to break.
 Who is at risk?
Osteoporosis is much more common in women than in men. This is because women have less bone mass than men. The amount of and the quantity of calcium in their diet is also low. Women need calcium and the female hormone estrogen to keep their bones strong.
 Who is at risk?
Women who have
- Menopause before age 48 or premature menopause
- Surgery to remove ovaries before menopause
- Not getting enough calcium
- Not getting enough exercise
- incidence of osteoporosis in the family
- Alcohol abuse
- Thin body and small bone frame
- Fair skin (Caucasian or Asian race)
- Long-term use of oral steroids
Effective treatment of osteoporosis calls for lifestyle changes and medical treatment. This includes a diet rich in calcium, daily exercise, and drug therapy. Good posture and prevention of falls can lower your chances of being injured.
 What can I do?
If you have osteoporosis you should go for lifestyle changes and medical treatment. Since most women are susceptible to osteoporosis, it is better to take care of your bones and if you have a daughter, her bones. Before menopause, you need about 1,000 mg of calcium per day. After menopause, you need 1,000 mg of calcium per day if you're taking estrogen and 1,500 mg of calcium per day if you're not taking estrogen.
It’s usually best to try to get calcium from food. Nonfat and low-fat dairy products are good sources of calcium. Other sources of calcium include dried beans, sardines and broccoli.
About 85-90% of adult bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and 20 in boys. Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence can help to prevent osteoporosis later in life.
 Steps to optimize bone health
- Get the daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D
- Engage in regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol
- Talk to your healthcare provider about bone health
- Have a bone density test and take medication when appropriate
 How can I help my daughter have strong bones?
To help your daughter build healthy bones
- Introduce her to weight-bearing physical activity. These stimulate new bone tissue formation, making them stronger. They also make muscles stronger, and muscles push and tug against bones, making them even stronger.
- One cup of yoghurt with or wothout fruits
- One grilled cheese sandwich or even 2 ounces of American cheese
- One cup milk
- Orange juice with added calcium
- Soy beverage with added calcium
- Tofu (with calcium sulfate on ingredient list) 1/2 cup
- Macaroni and cheese
- Whole, dried sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon
- Dry roasted almonds -- 1 ounce
- White bread -- 2 slices
- Cottage cheese
- Pregnancy-associated osteoporosis is believed to be a rare condition that is usually found in the third trimester of a woman’s pregnancy or after giving birth. It usually occurs during a woman’s first pregnancy, is temporary, and does not happen again. Women affected usually complain of back pain, have a loss of height, and have vertebral fractures.
- If you are lactose intolerant, it can be hard to get enough calcium.
- Oral health maintenance is important in patients with osteoporosis. Dentists need to understand osteoporosis, its treatments and its complications to provide adequate care.
- Swimming, which is good for your heart and other muscles, but it is not the number one choice for building bones. A person feels a lot lighter in a pool as water cuts down on the pull of gravity, so your bones really don't get a good workout.
- There is about 300 mg of calcium are in each of the following: 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 2 cups of broccoli, or 6 to 7 sardines.
- Osteoporosis has no obvious symptoms. A person might not know her bones are getting weaker until she breaks a bone.
- Although bone density can be lost during breastfeeding, this loss tends to be temporary. Several studies have shown that when women have bone loss during lactation, they recover full bone density within six months after weaning.
- Human beings have more than 200 bones. They hold up the body, and, along with your muscles, keep a person moving.
- Besides calcium and collagen, bones also contain water, minerals, and cells that grow and change.
- A baby has more than 300 bones. By the team she/he becomes and adult, they have only 206 because some of the bones fuse.
- Women who do not comply with treatment instructions for osteoporosis or who do not respond to treatment are more likely to suffer further fractures, which seriously affects their quality of life.
 See Also
- Osteoporosis in Women: Keeping Your Bones Healthy and Strong
- Powerful girls