Suffering from osteoporosis is a common condition among the elderly, but they aren’t alone. It’s a very serious condition that affects a large amount of people every year. Osteoporosis (bone loss) is a condition so serious it makes bones weak to the point of breakage. Commonly found in older people, especially women after menopause, fifty-four million Americans have low bone density or osteoporosis.Read More >
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak and prone to breaking easily. Persons with this condition should therefore prevent falls since they can result in fractures of the hip, wrist, and other bones in the body.
Simple measures that can reduce the likelihood of falling and fracturing bones at home include ensuring that floors are free of clutter and devoid of loose cords that can trip you. If the floors are made of slippery marble or waxed wood, cover them with carpet which has skid-proof backing.
In the bathroom, install grab bars in the walls beside the bathtub and ensure that the bath mats have anti-slip matting. When you feel unstable, consider bathing while sitting on a shower chair and using a handheld showerhead.
In the kitchen use non-skid rugs near the sink and keep a mop nearby to cleanup spills as soon as they happen. Keep the most often used items within easy reach to avoid bending or climbing on stools to reach them. If you have to use a stepstool, invest in a sturdy one with wide steps and a handrail.
In the bedroom keep a flashlight with new batteries beside your bed all the time. Ensure that you also have a night light between the bedroom and bathroom. To avoid bending, buy a dressing stick and a manual grasping device.
Ensure that the stairwell is well lit and that it has light switches at the bottom and top. Install handrails and mark the top and bottom steps with bright tape.
If the walkways and driveways around your home look slippery, walk on the grass. Wear low heeled shoes with rubber soles for a solid footing and consider using a walker or cane with an ice pick on it. You can also attach ice grips to the soles of your boots for added traction. In addition consider wearing hip protectors and hip pads for protection in case you fall.
Cover the porch steps with weather-proof paint and keep the handrails in good repair. Make sure that the outdoor lights are working and the grounds are free of trash.
Finally, consider consulting an occupational therapist to come to your home and advise you on how to reduce any hazards that can lead to falls and fractures.
Written by: Marian Kim, Rust Built, Marketing Services
A hip fracture, which is often the result of osteoporosis, is a serious femoral fracture that occurs at the proximal end of the femur near the hip. This type of fracture is serious, especially for adults over 65, resulting in life-threatening complications. Your bones tend to weaken (osteoporosis) as you get older, which is why older people are more susceptible to hip fractures. Younger people can also suffer from hip fractures, but the cause is usually the result of car or cycling accidents.
There are signs and symptoms of a hip fracture to look for. These may include the inability to move after a fall, severe hip or groin pain, inability to bear weight on the leg of your injured hip, stiffness/bruising/swelling surrounding your hip area and shortness of the leg of your injured hip.
Not all hip fractures are readily visible on an x-ray, therefore an MRI is the next test option. In cases where the patient cannot afford an MRI or cannot fit in the scanner, a CT may be substituted. MRI sensitivity for fractures usually are greater than a CT. Once a fracture is identified it is determined if the patient will require orthopedic surgery. If an operation is necessary a full pre-operative general investigation including blood labs, ECG and a chest x-ray will be obtained. The surgery is a stress on the patient, especially if elderly due to the prolonged immobilization.
According to Mayo Clinic Staff (2012), “A hip fracture almost always requires surgical repair or replacement, followed by months of physical therapy. Taking steps to maintain bone density and prevent falls can help prevent hip fracture.” Occupational therapy and/or physical therapy is a very important process in rehabilitation, as it has been known to increase daily function for a healthy recovery. About 2% of hip surgery recipients experience a deep or superficial wound infection. If the infection is superficial it could lead to a deep infection including the healing bone. It could also contaminate the implants, which requires implant removal once the infection has been treated and clears up.
Medical Disclaimer: Always talk to a medical consultant before starting a new exercise routine, returning to exercise after injury or surgery, or if you have any health care-related questions.
Written by: Jamacia Taylor, Rust Built, Marketing Services
Osteoporosis is known as “Brittle-Bone disease.” The first and most common sign of osteoporosis is a broken bone. The difficult part is that osteoporosis is hard to detect because it can happen in healthy looking individuals. The disease can often go undiagnosed until a fracture occurs. As some of the risks of osteoporosis can be avoided, some other risks cannot such as family history or medical conditions. However, being proactive about your health and exercising can help the cause.
“Osteoporosis is defined by low bone mineral density (BMD) on an X-ray bone-density scan. If a scan shows your bone density is a bit low, your diagnosis is osteopenia, or pre-osteoporosis. If your BMD is quite low, the diagnosis is osteoporosis.” (JoyBauer.com) If you have low bone density you face a higher risk of breaking a bone.
According to JoyBauers.com, “Bones also contain specialized cells that help form bone (osteoblasts) and break down bone. If your overall health is good and you eat nutritionally sound meals, a balance is maintained, for every bit of bone lost, an equal amount of bone is created.” With osteoporosis more bone is lost than formed.
There are several risk factors to osteoporosis. These risk factors consist of:
Hormonal changes can give you a greater risk factor if levels of estrogen or testosterone levels fall. This is commonly seen in men as they age and when women go through menopause.
Cortiscosteroids medications are commonly used to treat illnesses such as asthma and autoimmune disorders. “But steroids seem to inhibit the bone-building activity and may also increase bone resorption. It has been estimated that up to half of all people who take steroids long-term will end up with osteoporosis.” (JoyBauer.com)
Weight builds bone. For example, thinner women have a greater risk of osteoporosis than heavy women.
“Osteoporosis Basics.” JoyBauer.com. http://www.joybauer.com/osteoporosis/about-osteoporosis.aspx
Written by: Sharan Kaur, Rust Built, Marketing Services
Building stronger bones is very important to protect your body against osteoporosis (“porous bones”), a progressive bone disease that causes bone fracturing. There are 8 specific nutrients identified in foods by doctors, scientists and researchers as bone-building.
Protein is a great bone builder; however you don’t want to consume excessive amounts (i.e. protein bars or shakes). Too much protein can be life threatening. Foods high in quality protein include chicken, turkey, seafood, egg whites, cheeses, yogurt, beans and peanut butter.
Extensive research done on this mineral reveals it as a strong supporter in treating and preventing osteoporosis. It also helps the body neutralize metabolic acids and absorbs calcium. Foods high in magnesium include pumpkin seeds, brown rice, spinach, cashew nuts, sweet potatoes, beans, flaxseed and wheat germ. Note: Calcium has been known to cause constipation, but taken with magnesium will help relieve this problem.
Potassium has been used to treat high blood pressure, prevent stroke and muscle cramps. It’s critical in the aging process by slowing down bone mineral density. Infuse your diet with foods like cantaloupe, honeydew melon, papayas, bananas, plums, prunes, raisins, avocados, artichokes, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and almonds to aid this process.
Foods with Vitamin C can help your body produce collagen, which helps slow down the rate at which bone loss occurs in old age. These foods include strawberries, lemons, grapefruit, oranges, guava, pineapple, bell peppers, cabbage, tomatoes and cauliflower.
This is one of the most important nutrients to bone. If consumed daily (1,000 to 1,300 mg) in your diet, you increase prevention of osteoporosis. Your best choices of calcium filled foods are fat-free plain yogurt, fat-free milk and cheeses, soybeans, collard greens, broccoli and almonds.
Vitamin D is another critical nutrient in bone health. It is found in foods and made by the body from the sun. Of course with the high percentage of skin cancer rates, it’s probably best to consume Vitamin D from foods and supplements. Your best foods sources include salmon, yogurt, soy milk and egg yolks. Daily supplements or a multivitamin (800 to 1000 IU) are also needed because there’s not a lot of foods rich in Vitamin D.
Vitamin K is known to be essential in the formation of osteocalcin, a protein found only in bone. Loading up on Vitamin-K rich foods is linked to lowering risks of fractions in some people, and include green-leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, parsley, and lettuce. One negative to consuming Vitamin K is that it serves as a natural blood thickener. This could pose a problem if you take blood-thinners, so always talk to your doctor before consuming a Vitamin K rich diet.
If you’re experiencing bone mineral density, then give your body a boost of protein by incorporating high-quality soy foods. This can include soybeans, tofu, soy nuts, soy flour, enriched soy milk, or soy yogurt several times a week into your diet.
Written by: Jamacia Magee, Rust Built, Marketing Services
Bauer, J. (n.d.). 8 Bone-Building Nutrients. Retrieved from http://www.joybauer.com/photo-gallery/best-foods-for-osteoporosis.aspx
Many of us think of osteoporosis as something that happens as we age, and many of us think that it’s something that only post-menopausal women need to be concerned about.
We’re right and wrong. According to the website www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics, 1/10 of all women over the age of 60 are affected by osteoporosis, with that number increasing to 2/3 by the age of 90. But according to that same site, “It is estimated that the lifetime risk of experiencing an osteoporotic fracture in men over the age of 50 is 30%, similar to the lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer.” So it’s not just a female issue.
First, what exactly is osteoporosis? It’s a condition where the bones become brittle (porous). An article on www.nof.org (“Bone Basics”), explains that we build and lose bone mass throughout our lives, but when we’re young we build it faster than we lose it. We usually hit ‘peak bone mass’ between the ages of 18 & 25, at which point we may begin to lose bone mass faster than we grow it. Therefore, the more bone we have at ‘peak’ the better. There are a number of things that cause it, ranging from illnesses that hinder calcium absorption, to hormonal changes associated with menopause, to certain medications.
Some of these are controllable, others aren’t. As far as some of the things we can control, we can:
- Eat a well-balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of calcium & vitamin D, as well as bone healthy foods such as fruits & veggies. In addition to being necessary for bone growth, calcium helps our blood to clot, our nerves to send messages, and our muscles to contract. Our bodies are not able to produce calcium on their own, so when they need it they’ll take it from our bones. Dairy products are probably the best known calcium source, but it’s also in certain green vegetables as well as soy and almond milk, and fortified breads & cereals. Vitamin D comes from three main sources; sunlight, a few foods, and supplements. Our bodies take UVB sunlight rays, turn it into vitamin D, and store it. Unfortunately, while sunscreen is beneficial in the fight against skin cancer, it also limits our body’s ability to manufacture vitamin D. It only occurs naturally in a few foods such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna so it’s added to such things as milk and cereal products.
- Exercise regularly. Both high-impact, if possible, and low-impact weight-bearing exercises are important, as are muscle-strengthening exercises. Examples of high-impact weight-bearing exercises are things like dancing, running, jogging, and rope jumping. Low-impact includes such things as the use of elliptical machines, stair step machines, and treadmill walking. Muscle strengthening exercises include weight lifting, elastic exercise bands, and any kind of exercise that involves lifting one’s own weight.
- Avoid smoking.
- Limit alcohol intake; alcohol interferes with our body’s ability to absorb calcium.
As far as the uncontrollables, such things as age, race, gender, size, family, and medical history all play a part. Long term use of corticosteroids such as asthma inhalers, certain types of anti-depressants, and some medicines used to treat esophageal reflux have all been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis, and diseases such as Crohn’s and celiac can affects our body’s ability to absorb calcium as well.
Uncontrollable risk factors aside, it’s never too early to be concerned about bone health. Eating well, staying active, not smoking, and limiting alcohol intake are all important and should always be part of a strong bone strategy.
Written by: Tricia Doane, Rust Built, Marketing Services
Building strong bones and preventing osteoporosis should begin at a young age. Women’s health advice can help keep your skeleton strong and fracture-free later.
Few people worry about skeletal health when they are young – but that’s rime time to prevent future problems. Good bone health starts early. Your bones build density from infancy through young adulthood.
Physical exercise is very important to your health and the benefits of walking is an easy way to increase your physical health. It is very easy to do and to fit into your schedule is walking. Physical activity is good for people at any age and makes a difference in overall health and well being.Read More >
Bone Health. It’s on the mind of most every woman over the age of 50, with good reason. Our bones loose mass after menopause. According to an article published by Prevention Magazine in Dec. 2011, women’s bone mass reaches its peak at the age of 30. After that it begins to deteriorate. Within 7 years after menopause we’ve likely lost up to 20% of our bone mass, which may result in Osteoporosis. The article also states that the risk of an Osteoporosis related fracture after the age of 50 increases by 50%. So what can we do about it?
First, let’s be sure that we, our daughters, and our granddaughters are thinking about it before that magic number 50. And second, let’s be sure that not only are we thinking about it, but that we’re doing something about it, like eating right, before Osteoporosis becomes a problem.
Calcium. I know, I know. My mom was right when she told me to drink my milk. It’s all about the calcium. But calcium is a sneaky little bugger. There are lots of ways to get calcium into our diets, and lots of specifics about what to eat with it and what not to eat with it (reference Prevention.com for more info), but since I’m a really big fan of the KISS way of doing things, I’m going to share one of my absolute favorite dinners that just happens to be high in calcium and is really easy to make. It’s not something I’d eat every night, but it’s a good source of calcium and waaaay delicious. It’s Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo, sort of.
I found the original recipe on a package of Golden Grain Fettuccine many, many years ago. Since then I’ve changed it up a little; I substitute coconut milk for the half & half because coconut milk is a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium & phosphorus (important to bone strength as well), and iron. It also adds a nutty flavor and is a great alternative to cow’s milk. I toss in some steamed broccoli, because broccoli is also a great source of calcium. I’ll substitute spinach fettuccine if I’m feeling a little crazy because it adds a nice texture without an overwhelming spinach flavor, and if I’m feeling really crazy, I tweak the pepper and nutmeg a little. I’m a vegetarian but I’m thinking you could probably add some chicken, too.
Broccoli Fettuccini Alfredo
- 1 pkg. (10) oz. Golden Grain Fettuccine
- ½ c butter or margarine (I always use butter – if it was good enough for my Grandma then it’s good enough for me)
- ¾ c coconut milk (original recipe calls for half & half)
- 1/8 t pepper
- Dash nutmeg
- ¾ c grated parmesan cheese
- 3 c broccoli crowns (my addition)
- Cook pasta as directed on package, drain.
- Steam broccoli.
- Melt butter and stir in coconut milk, pepper, and nutmeg (I use a cast iron skillet).
- On warm platter (again, I use my skillet), toss cooked fettuccine, butter sauce, steamed broccoli, and parmesan cheese.
- Makes approx. 6 (1 ½ cup) servings.
Written by Tricia Doane, Rust Built, Marketing Services