The increasing number of patients for diseases related to bones like osteoporosis or osteopenia, indicate the negligence that we have towards the decreasing health of our bones. Old age is one of the most common reasons of brittle or weakening of bones, but there are a variety of other reasons too which can cause bone thinning. Though bone thinning actually happens in the body, it is very hard to detect when your bones start thinning without a bone mineral density test; and it is not every day that you head out for such a test; therefore to help you recognize this problem, a compilation of the warning signs that indicate bone thinning has been done.
10 Warning Signs To Indicate That Your Bones Are Thinning
#1. More Than One Fracture In The Past Two Years: There are cases when the accident is not that severe and yet there is a fracture of the bone. This is among the first of the warning signs that your bones are thinning or turning brittle. At times, even stepping the wrong way on a curb has led to severe fractures of the ankle and this clearly is a sign of thinning bones. The best way to be sure in such a case is to get a bone density check. This test measures the calcium and other bone hardening minerals within each bone segment. If the bone density test shows the parameters below the border line range; it is a clear indication that you are suffering from thinning bones and it’s high time to take some action.
#2. Receding Gums: Quite common as people age, receding gums are a clear and one of the earlier warning signs to indicate that your bones are thinning.1 As the bones thin out, the jaw bone starts loosening out teeth, hence, receding gums are an important indication of low bone density. If the vertebrae of the lumbar section of the back are also loosing strength, then the gums may recede making this yet another connection with your thinning bones.
#3. Decreased Grip Strength: Good balance, strong grip and muscle strength; all are an indication of good health of the bones. If the bone mineral density test is low or in other words if the bones are thinning, then the grip of the hands is considerably decreased. All these are important warning signs to indicate that your bones are thinning and you should pay heed to them.
#4. Brittle Fingernails: Healthy finger nails are a sign of healthy bones and good calcium reserves in the body. Whereas brittle finger nails which break easily are one of the warning signs that indicate weakening bones.2 There might be other reasons brittle weak nails like spending too much time in water or digging mud while gardening or any other tough work that may lead to an easy breaking of the nails, but brittle bones is a sign of thinning bones nonetheless.
#5. Muscles Aches & Bone Pains: Though old age is expected to come along with various aches and pains, yet the cause for these pains should be found out. Among the most common causes for muscles aches & bone pains is the weakening of the bones. Mostly due to the loss of vitamin D in the body, bone thinning in old age is severe and should be tested carefully to maintain the health of the body. So, don’t put neglect those aches and pains as they are one of the warning signs to indicate that your bones are thinning.
#6. Height Loss: Another one of the major indicators of the thinning bones is height loss. Poor postures and fractures in the spine or vertebrae, which lead to height loss is surely a sign of the low bone mineral density.3 Not only bones, height loss is also an indication of weak muscles too. But these weak muscles in turn lead to an eventual loss in the bone too. Decrease in a person’s height is one of the warning signs to indicate that your bones are thinning.
#7. Decreased Overall Fitness: If the general fitness of the body declines, it is sure to eventually have an effect on the bone density of the person and this can be attributed to thinning bones. If decreased fitness is the cause of the thinning of bones then it can be managed well by getting regular workouts and strength training exercises. However, it is not necessary that this is the only reason for thinning bones. Nevertheless, decreased fitness levels are is also a warning sign that indicates that thinning of your bones.
#8. Irregular Periods in case of Women: In women, low estrogen levels cause bone loss. But the same low estrogen levels can cause a female to miss periods or lead to some form of irregularity in the menstrual cycle. Hence, by judging the regularity of the menstrual cycle, the position of the body with regard to the thinning of bones can be judged. It is best suggested to consult a doctor in case of this symptom to be able to clearly identify the reason behind any irregularity in the periods as this could be an indication that your bones are thinning.
#9. Difficulty In Getting Up From A Chair Without Using The Arms: If the bones are getting weak, then simple everyday tasks also require herculean strength; and in certain extreme cases, even then the task cannot be completed. Like in case of getting off from a chair, if you are finding the need to use the arms to push you up, it is a clear warning sign of thinning bones. Again this sort of an episode might have other reasons too and therefore it is best to get it checked out with the doctor.
#10. High Levels Of Serum Calcium Id Alkaline Phosphatase: If the levels of serum calcium are unnaturally high in the blood, then it leads to the belief that the bones are thinning leading. Therefore, if the levels of either the alkaline phosphatase or serum calcium are high on a blood test, then it is a clear warning sign to indicate that your bones are thinning.