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Preventing Osteoporosis in Older Adults

preventing osteoporosis in older adults

As you or your loved one gets older, you may be wondering about the likelihood of developing osteoporosis or the risk of experiencing falls or fractures as a result. Each year, osteoporosis causes almost 1.5 million fractures among North American adults; however, there are several easy steps to take regularly to prevent it.

Is osteoporosis a normal part of aging? There is an observable link between osteoporosis and falls since as we get older, our bone development and maintenance processes slow down.

As such, it becomes essential to try and prevent the risks of osteoporosis in old age and maintain healthy bones through proper diet and exercise.

Seasons Retirement encourages older adults to stay healthy, and in line with this, our professional chefs provide nutritious meals to keep your loved ones active and independent for longer. We also encourage our residents to participate in daily fitness classes.

This article will cover the symptoms and prevention of osteoporosis in older adults.

What is Osteoporosis?

A healthy body is continuously creating new bone to replace older tissue. Osteoporosis can occur when the production of new bone tissue eventually becomes slower than the rate at which older bone tissue is wearing away. This can result in falls and fractures, usually around the wrist, hip, and spine, that may take time to heal.

Although women are more prone to osteoporosis due to having lower bone mass than men, it can also affect males.

The best approach to preventing osteoporosis is cultivating a healthy lifestyle, taking the proper medications, and engaging in weight-training exercises. Let’s look at the symptoms of this condition.

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?

The onset of osteoporosis symptoms is easy to identify in someone that has developed the condition.

Unfortunately, however, the symptoms only become apparent after osteoporosis has weakened bone tissue. The likely signs are:

  • Loss of height or reduction in size
  • Back pain due to a collapsed vertebra
  • Brittle bones

Note that developing arthritis has also been correlated to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Check out the following tips to help prevent arthritis in older adults, minimizing the risk of developing osteoporosis.

What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?

Your risk of getting osteoporosis and bone disease is likely increased due to the following:

1.   Age

Osteoporosis is more common among older adults.

2.   Gender

Women are more susceptible to developing osteoporosis than men due to having a lower bone mass, amongst other factors.

3.   Race

Caucasians or those of Asiatic descent are at higher risk of developing this disease.

4.   Poor diet

People who have eating disorders or lack sufficient calcium are at greater risk of osteoporosis.

5.   Family record

You’re also prone to developing the disease if you have a parent or sibling dealing with osteoporosis-related fractures.

6.   Medical conditions

The risk of osteoporosis is higher in people with medical problems such as:

  • Cancer
  • Celiac disease
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Bone marrow tumour

7.   Fluctuating hormone levels

People with higher or lower levels of specific hormones, such as estrogen/testosterone and thyroid or adrenal hormones, are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

8.   Specific lifestyle choices

Habits such as smoking, drinking excessive alcohol, and having a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of osteoporosis.

The good news is you can minimize the risk factors and incorporate a plan to help maintain strong and healthy bones as you get older. Here are some of the best tips for preventing osteoporosis.

Seven Ways to prevent osteoporosis

1.   Exercise

Although exercise boosts overall wellness, not all of them benefit your bones. To prevent osteoporosis, you may have to include strength-building and weight training exercises in your routine.

It’s been proven that a combination of both exercises can improve bone density and reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis. Seasons encourages residents to participate in daily exercise classes and routines to improve their health.

Weight-training exercises are great for your bones because your muscles exert pressure on connecting bones when you move.

This stimulates the development of new bone tissue produced in your body, which displaces the loss of bones and stops excessive bone thinning. Here are some simple and safe exercises for older adults.

2.   Eat plenty of vegetables

A healthy diet is vital to maintaining good overall health. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables minimizes the chances of developing chronic diseases, and it can also make a big difference in maintaining excellent bone health.

Note that a high intake of fruits and vegetables can be traced to decreasing the risk of osteoporosis. Thus, you have another reason to fill your cart with varieties of fruits and vegetables at your next grocery shopping.

3.   Increase your calcium intake

Calcium is necessary for strong bone development from infancy until you become older, and most of your calcium intake goes straight to the teeth and bones.

Calcium is crucial for your organs and muscle functions. When your calcium intake isn’t sufficient for proper maintenance, your body will compensate for the lack of resources by breaking down bone instead.

You may want to be mindful of the amount of calcium you get from your supplements and diet to help prevent osteoporosis.

You can aim for a daily intake of 1,200 milligrams of calcium as an older adult, and incorporating cheese, fish, milk, yogurt, and broccoli into your daily diet can be a great way to get the necessary amounts for good health.

4.   Be generous with vitamin D

If you want to reduce your risk of osteoporosis, try to be generous in your consumption of vitamin D. It helps with the absorption of calcium and helps maintain stronger bones.

5.   Cut down on smoking

Smoking can also affect one’s chances of developing osteoporosis.

This is because the nicotine in cigarettes hinders the proper functioning of your body’s hormones like estrogen, which affects the maintenance of bone mass and increases the risk of developing osteoporosis.

6.   Reduce alcohol consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption interferes with the proper intake of body minerals essential for healthy bones, such as calcium. A study revealed that just two cups of alcohol daily could significantly increase your chances of osteoporosis.

7.   Get quality sleep

You enjoy many benefits when you prioritize quality sleep. Sleep improves your general wellbeing; it also enhances healthy bones.

You’re at greater risk of developing osteoporosis when you continuously fail to sleep well. You may have to check with your doctor if you have sleeping problems like insomnia for treatment options.

Conclusion

These tips can help you keep and maintain stronger bones, thus preventing osteoporosis.

Nutrition and exercise can go a long way to improve general health. At Seasons Retirement, we provide healthy and nutritious diets to suit every individual need while offering several engaging forms of activity and exercise to keep our residents healthy and happy.

Discover Life at Seasons. Book a Personal Visit Today.