Many of the older members of society might have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease where the bone strength of a person decreases; they become thin and brittle. When elderly people have osteoporosis, their chances of breaking their bones even while doing mundane things, increases. This is the case even for elderly in home care. However, the difference is that older people who avail home care services are assisted by skilled health professionals who can tend to their needs anytime.
In order to help people who are experiencing this disease, it is important to learn more about osteoporosis. That way, you can evaluate whether your loved ones who experience this disease need caregivers or not. Below are some of the things that you should know about osteoporosis.
What causes it?
The main cause of this disease is the lack of specific hormones: estrogen in women and androgen in men. The drop of estrogen caused by menopause can also lead to osteoporosis in women. Aside from this, one other possible cause of osteoporosis is the lack of calcium. The bones are deposits of calcium and phosphorus. When your blood or other organs don’t have enough calcium, they steal from the bones. If they take too much and you don’t replace the calcium they borrowed over time, you end up with weaker bones.
In addition, not having enough Vitamin D can also cause the rapid thinning of bones, as this vitamin aids your body in the absorption and usage of calcium. If you’ve heard about the early astronauts, you’ll know that those individuals spent months weightless in space. This led to bone loss. This just means that not exercising regularly can make your bones brittle.
Osteoporosis can also be caused by smoking, drinking, some medications, and other medical conditions.
Who can get it?
Women are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis than men, but that doesn’t mean that men don’t get it too. Women with smaller frames and those who are older are more susceptible to the disease.
What are the symptoms?
There aren’t any symptoms early on, but later it can cause dull aches in the muscles and bones, as well as neck and back pain. The pain can become worse if you put weight in the aching area. While it usually subsides in a week or so, there are cases when the pain can be felt for more than three months. If a person with osteoporosis falls or experiences physical trauma, such as a broken bone, they may not be able to recover from it.
How can it be prevented?
Some of the ways that you can prevent developing this disease is by doing the following:
- Are you a smoker? Then it’s time to stop smoking. If you do not smoke, don’t pick up this bad habitat all.
- Drink moderately in order to help avoid this disease.
- Prevent falls by wearing shoes with low heels or shoes with rubber soles so that you don’t slip.
- Exercise and put gentle pressure on the bones to prevent developing osteoporosis.
- Take calcium supplements or consume dairy, vegetables, and soy products.
- Get some sun – it will give you the very much-needed vitamin D.
When do you need to go to the doctor?
If you are a woman who is currently experiencing or you are already past your menopause, you should consult your doctor. You should also visit your doctor if you experience pain in your lower back or neck. Ask your doctor for an assessment and if you think you are at risk of developing this disease, then ask for tests to see if your bone density is decreasing. If your bones are hurting, don’t ignore it; go to your hospital’s emergency department immediately for treatment.
If you experience the signs and symptoms of osteoporosis, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. Remember, this disease can affect men too, not just women. The elderly can develop it just because of old age, but engaging in vices like drinking, smoking, and eating too much can still cause osteoporosis.