Archive for the ‘Osteoporosis’ Category

Men and women suffer from osteoporosis. It can be prevented and treated, but it is often called the silent disease because bone loss occurs without symptoms. You may not know you have osteoporosis till your bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump or fall causes a fracture or a vertebra to collapse.

Early diagnosis is the key to prevent osteoporosis. Unfortunately, people believe they need not worry about osteoporosis until they are old. Many people in their early forty’s and less are now victims of this debilitating disease.

The national osteoporosis foundation of USA estimates that by 2035, countries like India and China will have the largest osteoporosis population in the world. One out of every two women and one in eight men over the age of fifty will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime.

The older you are, the more you are at risk of developing osteoporosis, as your bones become weaker and less dense as you age. Family history can also play an influential part in developing osteoporosis. Susceptibility to fracture may be, in part, hereditary. People whose parents have a history of fractures also seem to have reduced bone mass and may be at risk for fractures. Small, thin-boned women are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis. Your chances of developing osteoporosis are greater if you are a woman. Women have less bone tissue and lose bone more rapidly than men because of the changes involved in menopause. Asian women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis as compared to African, American Russian and Latino women.

Detecting osteoporosis:
The DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry) Bone Densitometry Scan in considered the gold standard in accurate and reliable diagnosis of osteoporosis. A fast simple examination, it is non-invasive, has minimal radiation exposure, high reproducibility and can measure bone mineral density at multiple sites.

The results of the DEXA bone density scan can:
a. Detect low bone density before a fracture occurs.
b. Confirm an osteoporosis diagnosis if you already have a fracture.
c. Predict your chances of fracturing in the future.
d. Determine your rate of bone loss and or monitor the effects of treatment if the test is conducted at intervals of a year or more.

Other methods of detecting osteoporosis include:
The Quantitative Computer Tomography, QCT, The Quantitative Ultra Sonography, QUS,. The QCT cannot take measurements of the hip. It has a high radiation doze and is costly. The QUS is inexpensive, radiation free and a very quick way to measure bone mass density. But due to poor precision, it must be complimented with DEXA scan before commencing on any long term treatment.
Detecting osteoporosis through X-rays is usually a subjective assessment, and the diagnosis cannot always be relied upon.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a loss of bone mineral density often associated with old age, leading to bone fragility and fracture. Because the bones are weakened, such fractures can result from relatively minor traumas such as carrying grocery bags or even a sneeze! Fractures to the hip can be due to a fall and can significantly compromise quality of life and ability to walk. Statistics show that 1 in 4 American women and 1 in 8 American men over 50 have osteoporosis. This is a very disheartening statistic considering that osteoporosis is a largely preventable condition. Osteoporosis is also usually clinically silent until a fracture occurs, so it can go unnoticed for years. This is why bone density scans (DEXA scans) are often recommended to postmenopausal women.

Risk Factors:

There are both modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis. Well known non-modifiable risk factors include age, female gender, family history of osteoporosis, being fair-skinned and having European descent. Women who have had hysterectomies are also at a higher risk because hormones such as estrogen have a protective effect on bone density. Certain metabolic diseases and medications can also affect the body’s chemistry and bone mass. What we are most interested in, however, are modifiable risk factors. Modifiable risk factors are lifestyle choices. Some such risk factors include: smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle, low body mass and certain dietary factors.


Prevention of osteoporosis starts now! Peak bone density occurs between the ages of 25 and 35, gradually reduces with age and then at menopause the downward slope becomes steeper. Here are some great tips

1. Exercise:

Exercise is the most important preventative strategy for osteoporosis. Weight-bearing aerobic activities help to maintain and even increase bone mass. Weight-bearing exercises are any exercise done on ones feet such as jogging, hiking, stair-climbing, step aerobics, dancing and weight lifting. The body adapts to the stresses placed on it by building stronger muscle and bone. Wolff’s law pertains to bone – bone remodels over time to become stronger when loaded. The converse is also true – when bone is not regularly loaded, it becomes weaker.

2. Maintain a healthy body weight:

Being underweight is a risk factor for osteoporosis, thus maintaining a healthy body weight is important.

3. Stop smoking:

Those who smoker have 10% lower bone density than an average person of the same age. Fractures also heal more slowly in smokers and overall healing is compromised.

4. Modify your diet:

Excessive alcohol consumption inhibits calcium absorption and is associated with osteoporosis. Diets high in protein (animal meat), caffeine and soft drinks (containing phosphoric acid) area also problematic, resulting in calcium loss. High consumption of fiber, oxalates and high zinc foods decrease calcium absorption from diet. Conversely, alkaline forming foods (such as fruits and vegetables) appear to be beneficial. Legumes containing phytoestrogens (such as soy, chickpeas and lentils) also appear to have protective effects on bone mass. Nutrition has a very important role in bone health so it is essential to ensure a healthy, balanced diet with adequate intake of the necessary vitamins and minerals.

5. Improve your digestion:

Poor absorption leads to deficiency. Consider low allergenic diet and probiotics.

6. Consider supplementation:

Supplementation is not a replacement for a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet. A healthy, balanced diet is a must! However, it may become necessary when deficiencies arise. There are also some vitamin and mineral supplements that are specially formulated to address low bone density. The following seem to have protective effects on bone density: calcium citrate, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, boron, isoflavones and omega-3 fatty acids.

Managing Osteoporosis and Low Bone Density:

Much of the same advice for prevention of osteoporosis and low bone density is also used for the management. It is also important to eliminate fall risks so as to prevent fracture. Your family doctor may recommend a medication. Unfortunately, many medications have unwanted side effects. Be sure to ask a lot of questions regarding benefits as well as risks for some of the options such that you may make an informed decision regarding your health.

Can I Still See a Chiropractor if I Have Low Bone Density or Osteoporosis?

Many chiropractors offer gentle techniques for individuals who have low bone density or osteoporosis. Be sure to tell your chiropractor if you are aware that you have this problem.

Osteoporosis is known to be the leading cause of fractures in adults above 45 years of age. An estimated 75 million of people across the globe and particularly in the United States, Europe and Japan are diagnosed with this condition. Approximately 9 million fractures associated with osteoporosis have been identified, in which 1.9 million are hip fractures and 1.4 million are fractures of the backbone. Osteoporosis is a condition in which there is a significant decrease in the bone mineral density or BMD. It is characterized by a decrease in the density of the bone, thereby decreasing its strength. This leads to bone fragility, subjecting the bones to frequent injuries and fractures. Risk factors of osteoporosis include women who are over 45 years old, have smaller body structures, history of taking certain medications and having close family members who also suffer with the same health condition.

Osteoporosis is a silent disease since no particular signs and symptoms attributed with this condition can be easily noticed. This health condition does not usually produce signs and symptoms. The pain and discomfort present for people who suffer from osteoporosis are due to fractures. These fractures resulted from the decrease in bone density. Lower back pain and discomfort is the most common symptom experienced by people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Those with this condition experience fractures even to simple activities that usually do not cause fractures to healthy individuals. Diagnosing this condition is performed through medical history, diagnostic examinations like X-rays, a thorough physical assessment and evaluation of signs and symptoms which are both previously and recently experienced.

The goal of treatment and management for osteoporosis is to prevent fractures and other injuries that can be a result of a decrease in bone strength and density. Early detection and prompt treatment is important to prevent further injuries associated with this condition. Preventive measures that must be taken by people suffering from this condition include lifestyle changes and strict adherence to therapeutic regimen recommended by the physician. Lifestyle modification involves healthy diet, regular exercise and adequate rest and sleep. Cigarette smoking cessation and abstaining from alcohol are very important steps in lifestyle modification for people suffering from osteoporosis. When planning for physical activities, it must be kept in mind that bones are still fragile and therefore, activities, which must be part of the exercise program, must not be that intense and rigid. The client must be able to tolerate the form of exercise.

There is a range of osteoporosis treatments in the form of medications, which include Actonel, Boniva, Fosamax, Reclast, Evista, Forteo, Fortical, Miacalcin, and Prolia. The diet of individuals with this condition must contain high amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Examples of calcium-rich foods include milk, yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower, salmon, tofu and green leafy vegetables. Calcium supplements are beneficial for cases of osteoporosis. Vitamin D must also be taken since this vitamin aids in the absorption of calcium from the circulation into the bones. A healthy diet and proper exercise are proven to be effective in preventing osteoporosis, as well as in reducing the risks for having fractures in case osteoporosis has already been diagnosed.