Do You Have Weak Bones?

on Monday, 13 February 2012. Posted in Bone health, Women's Health Written By: Shruti Gaddam

Signs, symptoms and ways to deal with weak bones

Do You Have Weak Bones?

Bones become weak when there is a reduction in their density caused due to low levels of calcium, proteins, vitamins and minerals. There is continuous bone loss in the body because of their usage in daily activities. However, this loss is covered up through the calcium that the body receives from food. Osteoporosis or weak bones occurs when calcium lost is more than calcium gained.

Calcium requirement

Calcium requirement increases with age. A new born baby requires 210mg of calcium until the sixth month. In the second half of the first year, calcium requirement increases to 270mg. Between the first and third years, a child requires 500mg of calcium. By the time a child is 8 years old, 800mg of calcium is required to keep up with the physical activities. Between 9 and 18 years, the body requires 1300mg of calcium. Beyond 18, calcium requirement drops to 1000mg because physical activity reduces. However, after 50, body needs 1200mg because aging causes more bone loss.

Bone Health Trivia

Lesser your weight lesser is the stress on the bones

Exercise releases growth hormones from pituitary gland that help in bone creation.

Factors causing weak bones

The major factors that are responsible for causing weak bones are medical conditions, unhealthy lifestyle, insufficient calcium and vitamin intake and certain kinds of medications. Aging causes a reduction in bone density as well. Other factors that can cause weak bones are smoking, early menopause, excessive alcohol consumption and sedentary lifestyle. People who suffer from diseases such as hyperthyroidism, respiratory illnesses, cancer, liver and kidney diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, Cushing’s disease and multiple sclerosis are more exposed to osteoporosis. Certain medications such as radiation and chemo therapy, hormone replacement therapies, steroid use, thyroid medication and immunosuppressive agents also trigger weakening of bones.

Signs indicating weak bones

Loss of bone density is usually not evident until a person suffers fractures. If you suffer multiple fractures at slightest impact, it is a cause of concern. Weak bones also cause a compression in the spine, which leads to loss of height and inability to stand erect. A pot belly without weight gain and dowager’s hump also occur due to compressed spine. If you notice any of these conditions, consult a doctor at the earliest.

Tips to strengthen bones

  • Improving quality of diet is the first and major aspect in improving bone health.
  • Dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese should be included in the diet every day.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables takes care of your vitamin and mineral needs.
  • Foods rich in proteins such as meat, soy, cereals, pulses and beans should be eaten on a daily basis.
  • Calcium supplements are desirable as well.
  • Also perform resistance and strength building exercises, do some cardio and use light weights. However, do it only under expert supervision.

Weak bones can be dealt with, with conscious and persistent efforts and major lifestyle changes.
 

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