Weak Bones – Signs, Symptoms and Prevention

What are Weak Bones?

Weak bones are bones that have a low mineral density. Weak bones tend to easily break when there is a small impact.

Why do Bones get Weak?

Your bones depend on the diet you eat to get the nutrients they need. The nutrients are the ones that make the bones to grow and be healthy. Minerals such as Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, and Zinc are some of the minerals your bones require to be strong. When there is depletion of nutrients and minerals, the rate of bone formation decreases* and bone loss increases*. This makes your bone to become weak.

Weak Bones

Inactive life can also make your bones to become weak. Physical exercises such as swimming, running, jogging, weight lifting, dancing, yoga can help your prevent weak bones which can easily fracture.

Bones can also become weak if you involve yourself in certain habits. These habits include excessive consumption of alcohol, caffeine and smoking.

If you don’t take enough water in a day, your body can become dehydrated. Dehydration can also make your bones to become weak.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Weak Bones?

There are no symptoms when your bones your bones are weak but if your bones break easily, this could be a sign of weak bones.

Most people will not know they have weak bones until they fracture a bone and the doctor diagnoses it. When you are above the age of 50 and you break a bone after a low impact such as a slip, you are likely to be having weak bones.

Why is it Bad to Have Weak Bones?

Weak bones can fracture easily and this can cause severe pain. Weak bones can also lead to worse conditions such as osteoporosis. This happens when your bone mineral density drastically decreases* to lower levels.

Weak bones can cause a low quality life. Weak bones can make you not able to walk, this can have an effect on your daily life.

Help Prevent Weak Bones, What to Avoid?

There are several things you can do to prevent weak bones. Eating foods that are rich in vitamin D and Calcium will make your bones to become strong and healthy but there are things you should avoid to prevent your bones from becoming weak. They include:

  • Caffeine. Coffee increases* the rate of Calcium and Magnesium excretion through urine. When you take more than two cups of coffee you increase* your risk of breaking bones. Three cups of coffee can take about 45mg of Calcium from your body. The risks will be even higher when you take more than five cups of coffee. This can cause your hip bone to fracture
  • Alcohol. Excessive intake of alcohol can put you at risk of bone loss. Taking more than two alcoholic drinks a day is unhealthy to your bones and general health. Alcohol inhibits the absorption of minerals by reducing* the levels of Magnesium. Alcohol is associated with fall which can make your bones fracture.
  • Salts. Taking foods that are high in salt can increase* the excretion of Calcium through urine. Foods that contain 20% or more of Sodium are high in salt and are not good for your bones
  • Steroids Drugs. Drugs such as corticosteroids inhibit the absorption of Calcium in the body. Corticosteroids are usually used to treat* several types of cancers. Taking corticosteroids for a long period of time put you at risk of bone loss of bone loss. If you take these drugs, you should seek advice from your healthcare provider concerning your bone health
  • Stress. Stress interferes with adrenal gland which will lead to low production of serotonin and increase* in cortisol. High levels of cortisol in the body will make you have no sleep. When you asleep, new tissues and bones are formed but in the case where you have high levels of cortisol in the body there will be no sleep, this means the rate of body tissues and bones will decrease*. This will eventually cause weak bones

Should I Get Bone Mineral Density Test?

To reduce* the risks of having weak bone, it is advisable to go for a bone mineral density if you are a young woman, a woman or a man of 65 years or older, if you are using corticosteroids, or you have hyperparathyroidism. This will make you aware of your bones health and also get advice from the healthcare provider on the steps to take to improve* your bone health. Bone mineral density is determined by a test called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) which measures the mineral density of the bones.

What Food Should I Eat for Strong Bones?

For strong and healthy bones, you need vitamin D and Calcium-rich food. Examples of Calcium rich foods include milk, sardines, kale, spinach, soybeans, cheese, yogurt, and fortified cereals such as raisin bran, and total.

Vitamin D is found in few foods such as egg yolk, tuna, beef liver, and fortified orange juice.

Weak Bones Vs. Osteopenia. What is the Link?

Weak bones have a low bone mineral density. When you have low bone mineral density but not lower than in the case of osteoporosis it is considered you have osteopenia. Osteopenia is the scientific term used to describe weak bones.

What about Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements?

Enough intakes of diet rich in Calcium and vitamin D will help you get the required daily intake to keep your bones healthy but if you are not able to get the required daily intake of Calcium and vitamin D from your diet you can complement the food with supplements. Before taking the supplements you should know the amount you need to get the required daily allowance, overdose of supplements can lead to side effects.

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Contributor : Emily Clark (Consumer Health Digest)

Emily Clark is a medical writer with years of experience. She can be found residing in Maywood, Illinois, researching and writing on recent advances in medicine.

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