Protecting Bone Health: How to Prevent Osteoporosis
By Kim Jun-su, Medical Today Reporter
Our bones are essential for our body’s overall functioning. Not only do they produce blood and supply calcium to billions of cells, but they also provide crucial protection for our organs. The backbone, breastbone, and ribs shield the heart and lungs, while the thigh bones support the intestines.
However, as we age, our bones gradually weaken. Picture bones as dense sponges. Osteoporosis occurs when the density of these sponges diminishes, leaving behind many holes. It’s important to note that bones with low density are more susceptible to fractures, making proper care essential. Osteoporosis can even lead to fractures caused by something as simple as sneezing.
Fractures can be life-threatening, particularly when they occur in the wrist, spine, and hip joints. Hip fractures, especially in the elderly, can result in complications that are fatal. Therefore, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks posed by osteoporosis.
So, how can we protect our bone health and prevent osteoporosis?
1. Raising Awareness and Taking Action
We must first change our perception of osteoporosis and prioritize bone health. Many people wrongly believe that osteoporosis doesn’t require treatment, but this is a misconception. Osteoporosis is an ongoing condition that demands continuous treatment due to the consistent deterioration of bone density as we age. Regular bone density tests are also essential, as osteoporosis can often go undetected until a fracture occurs.
If you’re a woman aged 50 or older, it’s crucial to have regular bone density tests to check for osteoporosis, even if you don’t experience any symptoms. However, it’s essential to understand that bone density starts gradually declining in our 30s and drops rapidly in our 50s.
2. Regular Exercise
Engaging in regular exercise is beneficial for preventing osteoporosis. Activities like walking and jogging help strengthen bones. Appropriate loads must be applied to bones to make them strong, and exercise facilitates this process. Muscle-strengthening exercises are also highly recommended as they not only develop muscles but also protect bones and prevent loss of bone density.
3. Regular Treatment for Osteoporosis
If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, adhering to regular treatment is crucial. The goal of osteoporosis treatment is to prevent fractures, rather than completely restoring bone density. Therefore, it’s important to understand that improvement may not be immediately noticeable, and long-term treatment may feel burdensome. Nonetheless, following through with treatment and not discontinuing arbitrarily is vital.
When osteoporosis is detected, the primary medication is selected based on test results. Additionally, guidance on vitamin D levels, evaluation, supplementation, and exercise prescriptions are provided. It’s important to consult specialists and maintain consistent follow-up for medication choice and duration, as well as interpreting and re-evaluating subsequent test results.
Director Park Dong-cheol of Daejeon Catholic Hospital emphasized the importance of bone health, stating, “Osteoporosis is known to occur frequently in women aged 50 or older, particularly those who have experienced menopause. However, since bone density starts to decline from the age of 30, it’s advisable to prioritize bone health even if you’re not yet in your 50s.”
Director Park also cautioned against discontinuing osteoporosis treatment, highlighting its role in fracture prevention. Continuing the treatment is a proactive approach to safeguarding against potential fractures.
“Osteoporosis treatment may seem demanding, and its effectiveness may seem uncertain to some individuals. However, since it helps prevent fractures, it’s vital to persist with osteoporosis treatment,” Director Park added.
Protecting our bone health and preventing osteoporosis is crucial for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. By raising awareness, regularly exercising, and availing ourselves of proper treatment, we can safeguard our bones and reduce the risks associated with fractures. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.
About the Author
Kim Jun-su is a journalist specializing in health and medical reporting. With years of experience in the field, he aims to provide accurate and informative articles to help readers stay informed about the latest developments in healthcare.
The content of this article has been written by Kim Jun-su and is published in partnership with Medical Today. No part of this article may be reproduced or distributed without prior permission.
[메디컬투데이=김준수 기자] Bones play an important role in our body. Bone marrow, the soft tissue inside the bone, produces blood and supplies calcium to 60 trillion cells in the body. In addition, bones also play a role in protecting vulnerable organs. The spine, breastbone and ribs form the ribs and protect the heart and lungs, and the thigh bones support the intestines.
Bones, which play such an important role, become increasingly weaker as we age. Bones are shaped like dense sponges. Osteoporosis occurs when the density of this sponge gradually decreases and it appears as if there are many holes. Bones with poor bone density are more likely to fracture, so care is needed. Osteoporosis is the cause of a crack in a bone after just coughing or sneezing, or breaking a hip bone after a small fall.
There are also cases where fractures are life threatening. Fractures often occur in the wrist, spine and hip joints. In particular, hip fractures in the elderly require special attention because they can cause other complications and are fatal enough to lead to death. As such, osteoporosis can be a fatal threat.
So what should we do to protect our bone health from osteoporosis?
Firstly, it is important to change awareness of osteoporosis and pay attention to bone health. Many people believe that osteoporosis does not require treatment, but this is a misconception. Osteoporosis is not a disease that can be completely cured, and it is a disease that requires ongoing treatment because bone density continues to decrease as the body ages. In addition, due to the nature of osteoporosis, which is difficult to recognize until a fracture occurs, it is also important to have regular bone density tests.
First, if you’re a woman in your 50s or older, you should have a regular bone density test to check for osteoporosis, even if you don’t have any symptoms. However, you shouldn’t let your guard down just because you’re young, as bone density starts to decline gradually in your 30s and drops rapidly in your 50s.
▲ Director Park Dong-cheol (Photo = Provided by Catholic Hospital)
Next, it is better to exercise regularly. Walking rather than cycling and jogging rather than walking help prevent osteoporosis. Bones can only become strong when an appropriate load is applied, and that the appropriate load is applied through exercise. Muscle strengthening exercises are also good for osteoporosis. Strength training can develop muscle, protect bones, and prevent loss of bone density.
If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you need regular treatment. Prevention of osteoporosis is aimed at preventing fractures, not restoring bone density in weak bones. For this reason, there are many cases where the improvement in treatment is not obvious, and long-term treatment is burdensome, so it ends arbitrarily.
If osteoporosis is detected, the primary medication is selected and prescribed based on the test results, along with guidance on vitamin D levels, evaluation and supplementation, and exercise prescription. Because the choice and duration of medication, as well as the interpretation and re-evaluation of changes in subsequent test results, are important, it is important to receive prescriptions from a specialist and have consistent follow-up.
Director Park Dong-cheol of Daejeon Catholic Hospital explained, “It is known that osteoporosis occurs frequently in women in their 50s or older who have gone through menopause, but since bone density decreases from the age of 30, it’ n good to make efforts to get a bone. health even if you’re not in your 50s.”
He added, “There are some people who arbitrarily stop treatment because osteoporosis treatment is demanding and they don’t know if it is effective. However, since treatment for osteoporosis prevents fractures that might occur , it is better to continue the treatment for osteoporosis.”
Medical Today Reporter Kim Jun-su (email@example.com)
[저작권자ⓒ 메디컬투데이. 무단전재-재배포 금지]
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