Osteoporosis explained!


Osteoporosis literally means – porous bone, it is a disease in which the bone density and quality of bone are reduced.  As bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fractures is greatly increased.  The loss of bone occurs silently and progressively, often there are no symptoms until the first fracture occurs!

Osteoporosis occurs when there is an imbalance between new bone growth and old bone resorption – the process of breaking down the tissue in bones to release the minerals resulting in a transfer of calcium from bone tissue into the blood.

The body may fail to form enough new bone or too much bone may be reabsorbed, or both.

Two essential minerals for normal bone formation are Calcium and Phosphate.  When we are young, the body uses these minerals to produce bones.  If Calcium intake is not sufficient or if the body does not absorb enough Calcium from the diet, bone production and bone tissue may suffer.

The leading cause of osteoporosis is a lack of certain hormones, in women it is particularly oestrogen and androgen in men. This condition is much more common in women but men are at risk as well.  Approximately 25% of men over 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture,  however this figure could be considerably higher because it is often considered a “women’s disease” and men may not be tested!

Bone loss is a natural part of ageing, but not everyone will lose enough bone density to develop this condition.  However, the older you are, the greater the risk.  Women’s bones are generally thinner than men’s and bone density has a rapid decline for a time after menopause.

Things you can’t control!

Women who are thin and have a small frame are more likely to develop this condition.  However heredity plays a role as does ethnicity.  It is much more common amongst white people and Asians .

Things you can control!

Smoking, a diet low in Calcium and Vitamin D and an inactive lifestyle put you at a greater risk.  Heavy drinking has also been linked to bone loss.  Eating disorders (bulimia or anorexia nervosa) can also take a toll on bone health.

Some foods can sap your body’s Calcium stores.  Minimise salty, processed foods such as processed meats.  Caffeine can decrease the body’s absorption of Calcium, however the effect is minimal unless you drink more than three cups a day!

Weight bearing exercise can help to build bone and maintain it.  This includes any activity where you move the full weight of your body such as jogging, tennis and walking.  Research has shown that women who walk just a mile a day have higher whole body bone density than women who walk shorter distances – so get walking!

Should you require any further information or would like to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us on: hichin@healesclinics.com or luton@healesclinics.com



Peter Heale Chiropractor in Hitchin and LutonFrom the team at Heale's Chiropractic Clinics
Over 30 years of helping people in Hitchin and Luton and the surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

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