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As we get older, the risk of contracting diseases and the chances of deteriorating health invariably grows. You might have even heard of one of the most common of these conditions affecting the elderly: osteoporosis. There are more than three million cases in the US each year for this condition. So what is it?

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become brittle due to decreasing bone density as we age, increasing the chances for a serious fracture caused by a minor fall. Since bone tissue is something that constantly needs to be replaced, when the body fails to do so, abnormal porous bones can form, leading to sponge-like bones. Bone mass is lost for everyone as they age. The amount of bone mass you accumulate during your youth affects your risk for osteoporosis. The higher your bone mass, the lower the chance is of you developing this condition.

 Osteoporosis a common condition today that stems from old age and decreasing bone density; thus, it is important to eat healthy early on.

Image Source: Surfactant

Osteoporosis can be a silent condition; in fact, it often takes multiple abnormal fractures to occur before people realize they might have it. However, there are other more visible symptoms. Back pain, stooped posture, and decreased height are just some of many. These can occur due to small fractures in the spine that can often pass unnoticed. Other serious signs include easily obtained bone fractures resulting from a small bump or fall.

Increasing your calcium intake, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight and diet are some of the basic lifestyle choices you should follow. Beyond these, you should limit unhealthy habits, such as smoking and drinking. It is also important to make regular appointments with your physician. You should be screened for diseases and conditions as you grow older and be informed of your family’s medical history. Prevention is key to being healthy and staying healthy. So show some care to your bones early on. Drink milk and increase your calcium and iron intake. That way, when you’re in your fifties and older, you won’t have to hobble around with crutches.

Feature Image Source: Human skeleton by Thomas Quine

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