What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones of the body become extremely weak and brittle predisposing the individual to fractures.1 The bones most commonly affected with osteoporosis are that of the hip, pelvis, and the wrist. Osteoporosis is seen more in females above the age of 30, but males also tend to have this condition.
How to Detect Osteoporosis?
It is extremely important especially for females to understand the importance of having strong bones, but the question arises that how do we know whether we have strong bones or not? This is done by a test called as a bone density test which checks the bone mineral density of an individual and if the score is less then it signifies that the bones of that particular individual is weak and the individual is osteoporotic.
One question that most individuals who are at risk for developing osteoporosis ask is whether there are any early warning signs for osteoporosis. This article gives an insight as to the early signs of osteoporosis.
What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Osteoporosis?
Given below are 6 early warning signs of osteoporosis are:
- Receding Gums: This is a process in which the margin of the gums that surrounds the teeth starts to wear away. This can be due to various factors and among them is bone loss.2 The teeth are connected to the jaw bone and if there is bone loss within the jaw bone it will result in recession of the gums. This is mostly seen in females with low bone mineral density and osteoporotic females and thus is an early warning sign of osteoporosis.
- Weak Fingernails: Brittle fingernails are yet another early warning sign of osteoporosis. An osteoporotic individual will have weak and brittle fingernails. Once treatment is started for osteoporosis then it has been noted that the fingernails become strong and thick.
- Decreased Grip Strength: This is yet another early symptom of bone loss or osteoporosis. Studies have shown a clear relationship between osteoporosis and the overall strength as a decrease in the overall strength especially the grip strength poses a fall risk for the individual and in case of bone loss an impending fracture. So if you are experiencing a decrease in your grip strength then it is an early warning sign of osteoporosis. A recent study has proven that handgrip strength was one of the most important test factors in postmenopausal females pertaining to the bone mineral density and the risk of osteoporosis.
- Muscle Cramps & Aches: Cramps and aches in the muscles is one of the many early warning signs of osteoporosis.3 As an individual becomes old, there is bound to be some niggles and pain along with bone pain. This may be a part of the aging process, but may also suggest a deteriorating bone condition. In most of the cases of osteoporosis people have complained of muscles aches and bone pain which is usually due to severe vitamin D deficiency, a component which is vital for good bone health. Cramps especially at nighttime are yet another symptom that the individual may have bone loss, although there are other medical conditions that may also cause muscle cramps at night. One of the reasons behind individuals complaining of muscle cramps at night is depletion in the levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium levels at night. As the condition worsens, significant bone loss tends to occur resulting in osteoporosis.
- Loss of Height: As an individual becomes old, there is one more physical characteristic that comes to light and that is the individual starts losing the height. The reason as to why individuals lose their height may be vertebral fractures as a result of osteoporosis or as a result of poor postures throughout the younger years of the individual. If you feel that you do not appear as tall as before and seem to be losing your height, then beware, as this is also an early warning sign of osteoporosis. An individual with a poor posture may not necessarily result in bone loss, but can definitely cause muscle weakness around the spine which may eventually lead to bone loss and osteoporosis.
- Low Fitness Levels: Individuals who are at risk for osteoporosis or have ongoing bone loss tend to overall have low fitness levels, which can be measured by muscle strength and balance. A decline in general fitness levels results in decline in the bone health resulting in osteoporosis.
If you are suffering from any of the above early warning signs of osteoporosis, then it’s time to pay attention to you bone health. It is important to remain active as much as possible so as to maintain a good fitness level, have a good diet and exercise regimen that they should follow on a consistent basis so as to maintain healthy muscles and bones and keep osteoporosis at bay.
- Osteoporosis: Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies, Prevention
- Postmenopausal Osteoporosis: Ways To Reduce Fracture Risk
- Hormonal Causes of Osteoporosis and its Treatment
- Osteoporosis Diet: Good and Bad Foods for Osteoporosis
- How Does Yoga Help with Osteoporosis?
- Effects of Osteoporosis & Can it be Reversed?
- 10 Natural Ways to Reverse Osteoporosis