Related to bone health, osteoporosis can be brought on by a variety of factors that culminate in old age – ranging from early menopause to sustaining chronic medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism. In simple terms, it is characterised by ‘increased bone fragility’.
This disease develops as bone mineral density and mass decreases, progressively increasing the risk of broken bones. Osteoporosis has been found to inflict older women more, affecting approximately one in two women over the age of 50. Commonly referred to as the ‘silent disease’, this sweeping epidemic typically doesn’t show symptoms – only showing itself when a broken bone or fracture is discovered.
Just how severely can low bone mass and thinning bone tissue affect an individual? It can lead to bones becoming brittle to the point where a fall could lead to fractures or bones breaking. In worse cases, even coughing or bending over can cause fractures. Most of these fractures occur in the hip, spine and wrist.
Over 200 million around the world are afflicted with osteoporosis, with women four times more likely to develop this disease than men. Learning the risk factors, symptoms and treatment (including preventive and post-surgical home care services) can lead to a higher quality of life.
How do I know if I’m at risk for osteoporosis?
Many are unaware of even having osteoporosis until they experience a broken bone. These are some of the common risk factors for osteoporosis:
- Family history
- Excessive smoking and drinking alcohol
- Low vitamin D intake
- Long-term use of medications like corticosteroids and anti-epileptics
- Chronic medical conditions such as thyroid disease
What are the causes and symptoms?
As it is a progressive disease, early, middle and late stages mark the development of the disease. However, it rarely ever shows symptoms. Osteoporosis often reveals itself when you break a bone in what is considered a low-impact fracture.
Individuals can be at higher risk for developing osteoporosis if they have any of the following:
- Lack of oestrogen in the body
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
- Chronic medical conditions like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis
Likewise, there are a range of other diseases and medical procedures that can also contribute to the worsening of bone health. Individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases, blood disorders, cancers or have had medical procedures like gastrectomy possess a higher likelihood of developing osteoporosis.
Keeping healthy with home care services & treatment
Despite these harrowing figures, osteoporosis is largely preventable. With a balanced diet and an active lifestyle, the risks can be reduced.
According to HealthHub Singapore, individuals can benefit from gaining the daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D can aid in the long-term prevention of calcium deterioration. Likewise, moderating lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking and even reducing caffeine intake can be helpful.
However, as the elderly are more prone to osteoporosis along with other ailments or chronic diseases – families can look into comprehensive or integrated home care services that protect their well-being when they are alone at home. As bone fragility can limit mobility, afflicted elderly may feel increasingly isolated and depressed from the lack of contact.
In such cases, engaging home care services can help elderly individuals manage everyday life. Daily tasks can become all-consuming and challenging – from washing clothes to cooking for themselves. To support them, experienced healthcare assistants and nurses will be better able to provide caregiving services and guide them through the dailies of everyday life.
Seek caregiving services from our JagaPros
Do you need additional help caring for a loved one? Medical or non-medical, the financial and emotional weight of caregiving on a full-time basis can be challenging. With our home care services, you can entrust in our expertise and partner with our nurses to provide your loved one with a manageable day-to-day.
For more information on acquiring support for loved ones, read more here.
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