Osteoporosis is one of those conditions that’s considered “silent” because you don’t really have any symptoms. You can be going along, playing ball, running marathons or working your heavy construction job without a clue you have it. Actually, the first sign of osteoporosis is often a bone fracture for no apparent reason. It’s never too early to do the smart things to avoid this disease.
- Have you had experiences when a minor twist caused one of your vertebrae to fracture? Sneezed too hard and cracked a rib? This isn’t a joke; you may actually have serious bone loss. Osteoporosis may not have early symptoms, but it is treatable.
- Do you think that osteoporosis is just an old lady disease? You’re quite mistaken. More than 27 percent of men over the age of 50 have the disease. And some begin even younger. Talk to us at ReBalance about doing some tests to find out if you’re in danger.
- Hesitant to talk to your family doctor about your concerns? You can open up to a team that specializes in men’s health and deals with these kinds of questions every day. Schedule a consultation today.
Sly, But Noticeable Symptoms
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that happens when you have too little bone growth, too much bone loss or a combination of the two. Men especially have to be careful about dismissing signs that they may be falling prey to the serious bone loss condition that is osteoporosis.
The insides of your bones have a honeycomb appearance. When you have osteoporosis, the holes in the honeycombs are much bigger, making your bones brittle and prone to breaking. You may start noticing some other unwelcome symptoms, such as:
- Back pain from damaged vertebra
- Loss of height
- Stooped posture
- Broken nails
- Sudden onset of muscle and joint pain
- Chronic vitamin D deficiency
- Diagnosis or signs of osteopenia or reduced bone mass
Causes Vary Greatly
Although women are at higher risk than men for developing osteoporosis because of their smaller size, men don’t get a free pass. Your age, descendants, family history and body frame size all affect your risk. The older you get, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
Other factors that put you at risk include:
- Being of Caucasians or Asian descent
- Having a parent or sibling who has fractured a hip
- Having a small body frame
Calcium, Hormones and Medications
Lowered levels of sex hormones weaken your bones. Testosterone levels in men lessen with age and after the treatments for prostate cancer. Thyroid hormones can interfere with metabolism in bone growth as well. Excess thyroid hormone can cause weakening and porosity in your bones. This can occur if:
- Your thyroid is overactive
- You take high doses of thyroid medication to treat thyroid cancer
- You’ve taken high doses of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) over a long time
- You have an overactive parathyroid or adrenal gland
Using prednisone and cortisone long-term affects your bone health. Osteoporosis has also been associated with certain medications used to combat or prevent conditions such as cancers, seizures, gastric reflux and transplant rejection. High doses of steroid medicines over time can also cause the effects of excess adrenal hormone, which adversely affects healthy bone growth.
Medical Conditions Put You at Risk
The risk of osteoporosis is higher in people who have certain medical problems, including:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Celiac disease
- Kidney or liver disease
- Multiple myeloma
These conditions, their treatments and the effect they have on your mobility and activity level all play into increasing your risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Is Treatable
Bones need calcium to rebuild. If you have a long history of not getting enough calcium, if you have an eating disorder that severely restricts food intake, or if you have had gastrointestinal surgery, your bones have been deprived of the calcium they need.
Lower calcium intake means higher risk of osteoporosis. We may evaluate your diet and either provide suggestions to improve your calcium intake or recommend supplements. Foods high in calcium include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Cow or goat milk
- Prepared foods with added calcium
Lifestyle Choices Help
Stay active! Men who are more active lower their risk of osteoporosis, along with a host of other health problems. Weight-bearing exercises stimulate bone growth. Exercises that include lifting, jumping, walking and balancing are great for your bones and your posture. Grab some light hand weights and go for a walk!
Breathe fresh air, not tobacco smoke. Avoid tobacco of any kind, including chewing tobacco. We don’t know exactly what role tobacco plays in osteoporosis, but it’s been shown to contribute to weak bones.
Diagnosis and Treatment at Rebalance
A thorough diagnosis to determine osteoporosis includes extensive laboratory, bone and body composition analysis. The staff at ReBalance can develop and administer a comprehensive treatment plan for you, including:
- Natural and pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy
- Individualized bone-strengthening intravenous cocktail infusions
- Individual supplementation program
- Targeted, supervised exercise programs
- Power-up body-sculpting training