Monday, August 21, 2017

Aging and Your Bones

bones are beautifully engineered and
marvelously efficient — until something goes awry. You first need
to understand why keeping your bones strong and healthy is so
important.
Early detection and preventive treatment before fractures occur is
the vital key to treating osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is somewhat similar to high blood pressure (hypertension).
For instance, if you have high blood pressure, you may
not know it, because people rarely experience any symptoms from
an elevated blood pressure. Untreated hypertension causes damage
to blood vessels over many years. But if high blood pressure is
diagnosed early, its devastating consequences (stroke and heart
disease) can be prevented.

When you develop a fracture from osteoporosis, it’s likely that you
have had the problem for years. In other words, by the time you
have an osteoporotic fracture, bone is already quite fragile. You
can lose bone at the rate of 5 percent per year (for example during
menopause) and not experience any pain at all. So unless you discover
you have osteoporosis at an early stage, before you have any
symptoms, you’ll already have weak bones at the
time of your first symptom, which can be a devastating and even
life-threatening fracture.

Don’t get the impression that as soon as a fracture occurs, no treatment
can help. Studies have shown that bone density can improve
even at later stages, and fracture rates can be reduced. A recent
estimate by the Office of the Surgeon General reports that by the
year 2020, nearly one-half of Americans will be at risk for developing
fractures, if doctors don’t make changes in their approach to
early diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.



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