Take good care of your bones, and you will reap the rewards: more strength, fewer aches and pains, and a lowered risk for osteoporosis. However, if you neglect your bone health, you may experience weakness or fractures from osteoporosis.
“Our habits as young women strongly affect our bone density when we become adult women,” said gerontologist Ann Zer, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine in the division of general internal medicine and geriatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. So basically, you’re never too young to care for your bones.
Take a look at these five reasons to fight osteoporosis:
1. Osteoporosis may reduce your quality of life:
Fractures can be more dangerous than you may think, said osteoporosis researcher Joan Lappe, PdD, of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, “Twenty to 25 percent of people with a hip fracture die within the first year and more than half end up in nursing homes.” For others, the aches and pains of osteoporosis reduce mobility and keep them from enjoying their favorite activities.
2. Your fracture risk increases:
It’s hard to believe that your once durable bones can become frail, but that is the reality of osteoporosis. Bones break easily and from relatively non-traumatic events. Once you have an osteoporotic fracture, you are more likely to get more. Even bending over to pick something up can result in a fracture of the vertebrae. This is why it is so important to treat osteoporosis as soon as it is discovered, which often, unfortunately, isn’t until after a first fracture.
3. The lumpy hump is real:
Many young women skimp on dairy products because they worry about gaining weight. But they need to keep in mind that young girls who don’t get enough calcium could end up with an ugly hump on their back when they get older. With weak bones, vertebrae collapse on the front side, causing both a loss of height and development of a hump – known as the dowager’s hump.
4. Shrinking in height also makes it difficult to breathe:
Shrinking and hunching over is just one occurrence with curvature of the spine. When you are slumped forward, it becomes difficult to take a deep breath. Besides being dangerous, this osteoporosis symptom can also leave you unable to be as active as you would like.
5. Playing time may not be so fun:
Playing with grandchildren can be one of the great pleasures in life, but keeping up with rambunctious toddlers takes energy and good bone health. Hip and wrist fractures affect your ability to live by yourself, play with your grandchildren, and whatever else you enjoy doing. Pain, fear of fractures, and the need for assistive devices can keep you from living the life you want when you have osteoporosis.
For more information, please contact the Idaho Hand Institute at (208) 235-4263 or visit us at any of our four locations: Pocatello, Blackfoot, Soda Springs, and Idaho Falls.