By Batista Gremaud
Osteoporosis is often referred to as the "silent killer" because the symptoms of the disease are subtle and easily overlooked, especially in the early stages. Additionally, osteoporosis can progress for years without causing any pain. As a result, by the time the disease is diagnosed, the bones are already severely weakened and the person is at risk for fractures. People often find out they have osteoporosis when a bone unexpectedly breaks. However, it is often mistakenly believed that the fall caused the snap, when in reality it was the other way around - the bone was so frail that it broke, causing the person to fall.
Common areas such as hips, spine, and wrists are the most affected and can easily break while hugging a person, sneezing, bumping into furniture, or suddenly stepping off a curb.
According to research by the Osteoporosis Foundation, the overall mortality in the first 12 months after hip fracture is about 20%.
Because of this, osteoporosis is often referred to as a silent killer.
Everyone is at risk
Often osteoporosis is associated primarily with postmenopausal women. However, men are not exempt; one in four men is affected, nor are young women who believe that skinny is sexy and strive to lose weight by dieting and engaging in intense exercise routines. In other words, they exercise too much and eat too little. Unfortunately, traces of bone deterioration can be seen after only a few months of strict dieting.
If you don't eat enough calories, your body will lack the nutrients needed to build strong bones. You can also lose calcium through sweat and urine if you over-exercise. This calcium loss, combined with insufficient calcium in your diet, can lead to bone loss and eventual osteoporosis. Additionally, if you're not getting enough nutrients, your body may break down bones to get the nutrients it needs, also leading to osteoporosis.
In most cases, osteoporosis affects people long after stopping their diets and maintaining their average body weight. As a result, many young women can suffer from weak bones for the rest of their lives!
Youth is the best time to "invest" in bone health.
Ninety percent of peak bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and 20 in boys. The higher your bone mass density is as a young adult, the less likely you will develop osteoporosis.
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Facts and figures
One out of two women over fifty has osteoporosis. The sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone around menopause accelerates bone loss, which continues throughout the postmenopausal years.
Caucasian and Asian women are more predisposed to get it. Other risk factors include a thin frame, smoking, alcohol use, physical inactivity, and calcium and vitamin D deficiencies. Depression and certain medical conditions are also suggested as a risk factor for corticosteroid use.
More than 2 million fractures annually happen because of osteoporosis.
80 percent of older Americans who suffer bone breaks are not tested or treated for osteoporosis.
Testing for osteoporosis is only recommended for women over 65 and men over 70.
16% to 20% of people over fifty with a diagnosed osteoporosis fracture will suffer a premature death following the fracture, or 1,100 every month.
An individual loses approximately 1 year's bone mass in only one week of bed confinement.
While there are no symptoms at first, once the skeleton has weakened, you may experience
Back and neck pain caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
Loss of height over time
There is hope
Bone is alive!
The bones in our body are constantly breaking down and repairing themselves in response to the pull of muscles and gravity. However, problems can occur when new bone isn't being created at the same rate that old bone is being removed. This can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis.
Exercise, proper nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle are keys to preventing and managing the disease.
You Must Stimulate Bone Osteogenesis
Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are the most effective activities for rebuilding bone mass density.
Resistance and strength training that includes lifting free weights and weight machines have been scientifically proven to be best for rebuilding bone mass. However, the results are site-specific, depend on the exercise intensity, and are quantified by the weight you lift.
A regime of high-load, low-repetitions must be adopted. For example, to strengthen the hip and the spine, the exercises' intensity requires a maximum weight load – of 2 to 3 sets – 8 to 10 repetitions – for a 1-year minimum – 3 times/week – 45 to 70 minutes per session.
Older people unable to perform reinforcement exercises might need to choose weight-bearing activities that force them to work against gravity, such as walking, hiking, climbing stairs, playing tennis, and dancing.
However, at best, these activities can help prevent further bone deterioration but not substantially rebuild BMD.
Muscle Is The Organ Of Protection
Strength training not only builds muscle mass but also protects bones from further injuries. It helps improve balance, agility, and coordination, making you less likely to fall while reducing the risk of fracture if a fall occurs. But if you break a bone, the injury will heal faster because the body has memory and wants to return to the healthy state it once knew in growing more robust bones.
Osteoporosis is a deadly disease.
To rebuild bone density, you must incorporate resistance training three times per week.
The percentage of BMD improvement is directly related to the intensity of the load.
The sooner you start, the better you will be.
Exercising with osteoporosis requires caution
People with osteoporosis need to
Protect the spine by moving correctly during exercise and daily activities.
Be ergonomically supported
Avoid bending over from the waist.
Avoid twisting motions of the trunk. For this reason, yoga may not be the safest exercise modality for people with osteoporosis.
Refrain from carrying too heavy packages or reaching for things on a high shelf at arm's length.
You must supply your body with enough nutrients to build and maintain muscle health.
Protein is an important macronutrient for maintaining healthy muscle mass and preventing osteoporosis.
Muscle mass declines with age. Protein helps to maintain muscle mass and prevent osteoporosis by providing the body with the amino acids it needs to build and maintain muscle tissue. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and they play an important role in bone health.
Consuming enough protein, especially high-quality protein, is essential for maintaining muscle mass and preventing osteoporosis.
Additionally, eat a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
As a young professional ballet dancer, at 16 years old, I was diagnosed with osteopenia (the early stage of osteoporosis). With no awareness of it, my 45 years as an athlete, constantly dieting and pushing my body to the limits, made me prone to advance osteoporosis in my later years.
Fifteen years ago, I started weightlifting under the mentoring of Dr Fitness USA. It saved my life. I am more robust than ever; I enjoy perfect health and vibrancy. I am a testament to the power of strength training for women's health.
What Students Are Saying
"I am 74 years old, with advanced osteoporosis. I slipped on some ice and took a severe fall. I got up and walked away with just a slight bruise. When I went to my doctor for a physical and told her about the fall, she said that if it hadn't been for my excellent shape due to strength training on Dr Fitness USA's program, I would be in a wheelchair. Dr Fitness USA's strength training system saved my life! Susan Baker
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Batista Gremaud is the CEO and president of Dr Fitness International, an International Body Designer, Strength Training Expert, No1 Best Selling author of Feminine Body Design, Empowering Fitness For A Pain-Free Life, co-creator of the Feminine Body Design online strength training mentoring system, co-host of the Esoteric Principles of Bodybuilding, Recipient of the most outstanding fitness program 2019 by The Winners Circle, Mastermind at Sea. and producer of Dr Fitness USA’s THE SHOW.
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