Osteoporosis doesn’t choose its victims, affecting men and women of all races, occupations, and levels of income. However, older women, especially white and Asian, are exposed to a greater risk of being affected by osteoporosis-related fractures that are generally associated with disability or partial loss of function, increased pain, as well as higher health care costs. Since the risk of this disease progresses with age, elderly people are the most vulnerable category, all the more so, they usually also have other health conditions that combined with osteoporosis may lead to severe problems.
Fortunately, there is a range of pharmacological treatments that can slow or even reverse the progression of osteoporosis. Still, the key to success is switching to a more healthy lifestyle and getting rid of some unhealthy behaviors. The great news is if your mum, dad, grandma, or grandpa struggles with this insidious disease, you can help them with their uneasy battle, and here is how.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Let’s start with a snapshot of this complex health condition. In short, osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder in which the bones become brittle and fragile due to loss of tissue. Usually, it occurs as a result of various hormonal changes, or lack of calcium or vitamin D. While primary osteoporosis is mainly related to aging and loss of gonadal function, secondary osteoporosis results from other health conditions including and it’s estimated that around 30% of registered cases in postmenopausal women and more than 50% of cases in premenopausal women and men are those triggered by other health conditions.
When it comes to osteoporosis-related fractures, they most commonly affect the hip, wrist, or spine. This disorder significantly slows the building of new bone tissues, making a gap between the loss of old bone and the creation of a new one. Unfortunately, osteoporosis is very difficult to spot at the early stages and the first symptoms usually show up when a person’s bones have already weakened and lost the ability to swiftly create new tissue. Some signs of this disease in progress may include a stooped posture, loss of height, and a tendency to break bones easily as a result of falls or lifting heavy items.
As already mentioned, there is a range of medications able to either slow down or even reverse the progression of osteoporosis. Many of the available out there drugs are used for both prevention and treatment of the disease, doctors determine which one of the medications is the right option for a certain patient after considering the results of his/her bone mineral density test. In addition to that, patients can take advantage of next-gen medicines such as sarms andarine, which is known for its ability to dramatically improve bone strength and endurance in elderly people. Ask your parents’ or grandparents’ doctor whether some of those drugs can be beneficial for their condition.
Do not underestimate the importance of nonpharmacologic therapy that can work miracles in terms of reducing fractures. There is an array of factors that can affect the progress of osteoporosis, so the best thing you can do to help the elderly person you take care of is to persuade them to get rid of unhealthy behaviors and make some positive lifestyle changes. Let’s brush on some of them.
- Decreased alcohol intake – regular consumption of alcohol can worsen the condition, hence minimizing alcohol intake is a must. More than two or three drinks per day for women or men respectively is the maximum limit but, if possible, it is highly recommended not to consume alcohol more than once a week.
- Coffee moderation – while coffee is arguably the world’s most popular beverage, people with osteoporosis should limit their caffeine intake. Two cups a day is fine but more can be not so good for the bones. Suggest your coffee buff to replace regular drinks with a decaffeinated product – the taste is just as great as with the original.
- Smoking is a no-no – even though it is not yet exactly clear how exactly the use of tobacco affects the process of osteoporosis, numerous studies show that smoking contributes to weak bones. In addition to that, smoking is bad for overall health triggering a lot of other issues.
- Physical activity – elderly people need physical activity, at least a 30-minute walk to support the strength of their bones and muscles and get their daily dose of fresh air and vitamin D.