Why do elderly persons often develop bowed backs and appear to lose height? When we get older, we experience a loss of bone density and our bones begin to thin and become weaker, which results in osteoporosis, causing us to develop bowed backs and appear to lose height.
People lose bone mass or density as they age, especially women after menopause. The bones lose calcium and other minerals. The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae. The long bones of the arms and legs are more brittle because of mineral loss, but they do not change length.
Why do we get osteoporosis as we age? Our bones are living tissue and are in a continual state of renewal. As we age, more bone is broken down (resorbed) than is replaced by new bone. Thus our bones get thinner and more fragile as we age.
As you age, your body may reabsorb calcium and phosphate from your bones instead of keeping these minerals in your bones. This makes your bones weaker. When this process reaches a certain stage, it is called osteoporosis.
To diagnose osteoporosis and assess your risk of fracture and determine your need for treatment, your doctor will most likely order a bone density scan. This exam is used to measure bone mineral density (BMD). It is most commonly performed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) or bone densitometry.
‘It comes when the skin’s ability to maintain elasticity and good levels of collagen and hydration is outweighed by UV damage, exposure to free radicals and stress,’ says Laura J. ‘Avoid stress, yo-yo dieting, the sun and smoking. It may not keep you forever young, but it’ll stop you looking old before your time. ‘
With age, that fat loses volume, clumps up, and shifts downward, so features that were formerly round may sink, and skin that was smooth and tight gets loose and sags. Meanwhile other parts of the face gain fat, particularly the lower half, so we tend to get baggy around the chin and jowly in the neck.
The Burden of Osteoporosis It has been estimated that 10 million people in the US alone have osteoporosis, with almost 34 million more having low bone mass. The elderly population accounts for most of the burden, with 70% of all fractures sustained by those aged at least 65 years.
In addition to taking her medication, some of the most important things your elderly mom can do are to follow a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, maintain an adequate daily intake of protein, monitor sodium intake, and get plenty of bone building exercise.
There are things you should do at any age to prevent weakened bones. Eating foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D is important. So is regular weight-bearing exercise, such as weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing.
As all these nutrients play an essential role for your health, they also improve your bone density. Eat pineapple, strawberries, oranges, apples, bananas and guavas. All these fruits are loaded with vitamin C, which in turn, strengthen your bones.
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Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine.
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About 2 million fractures in the US each year are due to osteoporosis. Although all bones can be affected by the disease, the bones of the spine, hip, and wrist are most likely to break.
You can prevent bone loss with regular exercise, such as walking. If you have osteoporosis or fragile bones, regular brisk walking can help to keep your bones strong and reduce the risk of a fracture in the future.