Osteoporosis and the Signs to Watch Out for as You Grow Older

Osteoporosis is a medical condition that weakens the bones, making them susceptible to breakage. This ailment develops gradually, and most patients will only get a diagnosis after suffering a bone fracture, usually on the wrist, spine, or hip. Bones degenerate all the time, and new tissue grows to replace the old one, but when osteoporosis sets in, it interrupts this process. Your trusted Boca Raton osteoporosis specialist has a wealth of experience helping women like you manage the condition. Watch out for the following signs of osteoporosis:

Receding gums

If you notice your gums receding, the jaw bone around your teeth is likely degenerating, and no new tissue grows. This process can leave your teeth weak so much that they start falling off when you bite at something. Consult a dentist for a thorough oral exam.

Brittle nails

You may notice your nails breaking too often, even without engaging in activities such as gardening or physical activity. Declining mineral density is to blame, and this problem can occur at the onset of osteoporosis.

Reduced handgrip

Women going through menopause may find themselves struggling to grasp items with their hands due to a weakened grip. This problem exposes you to frequent falls as your hands can barely hold onto furniture or other items for support.

Broken bones

As one advances in age and their grip weakens, they may fall and fracture their wrists or other bones. You could be alighting from a vehicle, going up and down the stairs, or climbing a ladder. In the later stages of osteoporosis, a simple sneeze or cough could trigger a bone fracture.

Stooped posture

It is not uncommon to find older people walking or standing with a stooped posture or kyphosis. Their bones have weakened over time, and the vertebrae start curving, thus making it hard to stand upright. Compression fractures on the spinal cord make them lose height, affecting their overall frame, especially tall people.

Neck pain

Kyphosis is responsible for back and neck pain because the curved vertebrae exert undue pressure on the airways, thus making breathing difficult. Furthermore, compression fractures of the spine are painful, spreading through the back and making it difficult to do any physical activity.

What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?

Old age is a major contributing factor for bone degeneration, and it typically begins at the onset of menopause for women. At this point, the estrogen levels are pretty low, and they could also suffer hormonal imbalances due to specific prescriptions. White and Asian women are prone to osteoporosis compared to women from other races like African-Americans.

If you hail from a family where osteoporosis is prevalent, your chances of getting this condition are high. Smoking and consuming alcohol weakens your immune system over time, therefore, making you prone to osteoporosis. Ailments like hypothyroidism, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis expose the patient to bone degeneration down the line.

Consult your physician soon after noticing the above symptoms of osteoporosis or go for a consultation if you have underlying conditions that could pave the way for bone destruction.