(porous bones) is a condition, which is most often
found in post-menopausal women, particularly those
with smaller bones. Due to lack of oestrogen that
occurs because of menopause, a lack of calcium in
the diet, or a lack of weight bearing activity, the
bones begin to lose their structure. In some people
this shows as an extreme curvature of the upper back,
due to the loss of bone in the vertebrae in the neck
and thoracic areas, which forces the head downwards.
More commonly it is seen in the thinning of the upper
part of thighbone. Most of the broken hip experienced
by older people is caused by this bone loss. Bones
are active tissues, giving off and replacing calcium
continually. At about age 35 women's bones begin to
become less dense. This happens a little later for
men. After menopause, female bone loss is increased
because of lack of oestrogen. By age 65, the average
woman has lost 26 percent of her bone density, while
the average man has lost 9 percent.
Common causes of osteoporosis (in both men and women)
- Genetics/family history
- Lack of weight-bearing exercises
- Inadequate calcium intake throughout life
The best methods of reducing the risk are:
A lifelong intake of calcium and or calcium supplements
should be included in your diet. Non-fat milk, cheese,
broccoli, kale, and beans and calcium supplements
are good sources. Post-menopausal women should take
1500-mg calcium daily.
not smoke, and do not drink too much.
weight-bearing exercises like dancing, gardening,
housework, walking, running and so on.
post-menopausal women, hormone replacement therapy
is often a possibility.
Your Way to Strong Bones
The main mineral in bones is calcium, one of whose
functions is to add strength and stiffness to bones,
which they need to support the body. To lengthen long
bones during growth, the body builds a scaffold of
protein and fills this in with calcium-rich mineral.
From the time you're 11 until you're 24, you need
about 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium each day. Bone
also needs vitamin D, to move calcium from the intestine
to the bloodstream and into bone. The recommended
daily allowance of Vitamin D is 400-800 IUs. You can
get vitamin D from short, normal day-to-day exposure
of your arms and legs to sun, cod liver oil, liver
and from other foods fortified with the vitamin. Also
needed are vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc,
as well as protein for the growing bone scaffold.