As a baby boomer, being active and pain free are high among my priorities as I grow older. When I was a kid, I never thought about doing stuff like playing sports or taking a hike or even running a marathon! But, do those now and I might regret it. One reason might be Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes the weakening of your bones. Weak bones break! Sometimes its real obvious we have broken bones, like a hip breaking as a result of a fall. Sometimes it’s not. Like a backache that won’t go away. It is possible that is a result of a compression fracture of your vertebrae in your spine. That will keep you from playing with your grand kids.
There are three major things you can control that will make a difference in reducing the risk of developing Osteoporosis. They are diet, exercise, and taking a calcium supplement.
Here is a pretty complete listing of the known risk factors for developing osteoporosis.
* female gender
* Caucasian or Asian race
* thin and small body frames
* family history of osteoporosis (for example, having a mother with an osteoporotic hip fracture doubles your risk of hip fracture)
* personal history of fracture as an adult
* cigarette smoking
* excessive alcohol consumption
* lack of exercise
* diet low in calcium
* poor nutrition and poor general health
* malabsorption (nutrients in the bowels are not properly absorbed)
* low estrogen levels
* loss of the menstrual period (amenorrhea)
* chronic inflammation
* immobility, such as after a stroke or any condition that interferes with walking
* hyperthyroidism (excessive thyroid hormone)
* hyperparathyroidism (excessive parathyroid hormone production causes too much calcium to be removed from the bone)
* vitamin D deficiency (vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium)
* certain medications can cause osteoporosis such as long-term use of heparin (a blood thinner), antiseizure medications phenytoin (Dilantin) and phenobarbital, and long-term use of oral corticosteroids (such as prednisone)
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