Osteoporosis is a silent disease, sneaking up on those that are not actively working to prevent it. Osteoporosis is caused when your body looses too much bone, does not make enough bone, or both. This disease causes bones to become weak, increasing the risks of fractures or breaks. The National Osteoporosis Foundation just released new data about the disease. Currently, 9 million adults in the U.S. have osteoporosis and another 48 million are at risk for developing the disease.
What you need to know: Risk factors
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
- Being over age 50
- Being Female
- Family History
- Low Body Weight/Being Small and Thin
- Broken Bones
Controllable Risk Factors
- Not Getting Enough Calcium and Vitamin D
- Not Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables
- Getting Too Much Protein, Sodium and Caffeine
- Having an Inactive Lifestyle
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Losing Weight
What you need to know: How to reduce your risk
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well balanced diet
- Engage in regular exercise
- Eat foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption
During the normal aging process changes in vision and hearing occur; these changes have a negative impact on your ability to balance, increasing the risks of a fall and possible bone fracture. These changes coupled with osteoporosis can have dangerous effects. Estimates suggest that about half of all women older than 50, and up to one in four men, will break a bone because of osteoporosis. The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that twenty percent of seniors who break a hip die within one year from problems related to the broken bone itself or surgery to repair it. It is imperative that seniors who break a bone receive additional support and supervision over the following months while they recover in order to ensure their safety. Additional support for seniors comes in various forms including; a stay in an In-patient rehabilitation facility, physical therapy or assistance in their home from a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Amy Porter, executive director and CEO, of the National Osteoporosis Foundation states that “While family health history may account for a significant percentage of your risk for osteoporosis, many of the bone breaks that occur each year can be avoided through better prevention and treatment practices.” Among these prevention practices is a fall risk assessment. The nurses at Bayshore Home Care perform a fall risk assessment on every client. This test determines the likelihood of a fall occurring. The nurse is also able to make recommendations to ensure client safety; like removing rugs that can be easily tripped over and ensuring that all hallways are properly lit.
Take charge of your health. Adults 50 and over are at risk for developing osteoporosis and are encouraged to visit their healthcare provider for a bone density test. After visiting your physician be proactive, take action to reduce your risk and strengthen your bones.
Information Provided in Part By: The National Osteoporosis Foundation, Web, http://www.nof.org