10 Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis often is not discovered until there is a fracture, but the following can be warning signs that you need to discuss your bone health with your doctor:
10. Brittle nails
Brittle nails may seem like a minor problem, but they may be your body crying for help. Nails that don’t seem to grow, break off all the time, and are constantly jagged are a sign that you may need medical help.
9. Loss of physical ability
Your bones do a lot of work supporting you, and when they get brittle, your body tries to slow you down. You may actually have osteo problems if you find yourself having less physical ability. This could even be something as simple as getting tired after walking.
8. Loss of grip
If your bones are weak you can start to lose your grip. This can manifest itself as items being dropped on a regular basis and being unable to open things.
7. Bad posture
Bad posture can be a sign that your bones are getting weaker. This symptom is sometimes difficult to diagnose until someone points it out to you if you are slouching or if you’re overextending your neck making it look hump like.
6. All over cramping
Cramping in your muscles and bones can be the result of bone density loss. Usually this is your body trying to adjust to the changes and fluctuation in your body. A cramp every once in a while isn’t anything to worry about, but cramps that are near constant should be taken to the doctor.
5. Back pain
Back pain can be a sign that your bones have started to collapse. This pain usually lasts for weeks at a time and can be gotten used to over time. Many people don’t seek help until the pain is so bad it keeps them from enjoying life.
4. Hip pain
Your hip is one of the hardest working areas of your body, it supports everything and keeps you mobile. When your hips start to hurt, you need to listen or else you could find your mobility seriously impacted. Once broken hips are never the same, even with extensive surgery and the newest technologies.
3. Losing height
If you find yourself getting shorter, it is likely due to the compaction of your bones. This is not really something that can be reversed, but you can stop it. Lack of bone density will continue to make you shorter if not treated, with people losing an inch or more over many years.
2. Minor fractures
Normal bones can take a lot of injury without breaking, but brittle bones will fracture quickly. Minor breaks do happen, but they should be from high levels of force, not from minor falls.
Receding gums can be a warning sign for lots of conditions, but combined with the symptoms above, this can be an early sign for osteoporosis. Loss of density within the jaw causes the gums to fall down, leaving more of the tooth exposed. This can be painful and can make it difficult to eat.
The good news?
Osteoporosis can be prevented. Osteoporosis Australia encourages people to take action in maintaining and improving bone health. The body requires healthy levels of Calcium, Vitamin D (which helps absorb calcium) and regular weight bearing exercise. Chiropractic care can also help to maintain proper function of the joints of the spine allowing the nervous system to work at its best. This prevents loss of balance and muscle strength, which at a young age can lower your risk of getting Osteoporosis.
Calcium is an essential mineral for building healthy, strong bones. About 99% of it is stored in our bones, with lower levels being transported through our bloodstream to help the heart, blood vessels, nerves and muscles function properly. If your diet does not include enough calcium, the stores in the bones are slowly depleted over time creating low bone density, which may put you at risk of developing Osteoporosis. Some calcium rich foods include canned sardines and salmon, tofu and soybeans.
Vitamin D is essential for proper absorption of Calcium into our body. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes calcium absorption in the gut. Without sufficient Vitamin D bones will become brittle and weak and can increase chances of Osteoporosis. Vitamin D is largely absorbed from exposure to sunlight and via supplementation and from foods such as fatty fish, liver and eggs.