Osteoporosis disease – How serious is it to have osteoporosis?
Finding out that you have a disease or a health condition can be devastating news. It is no different when you get the diagnosis of osteoporosis. Although you are not in imminent danger of dying, as may be the case if diagnosed with a disease such as cancer, finding out that you have osteoporosis is still sure to have a psychological impact.
What Are the Psychological Effects of Osteoporosis?
In particular, you may be wondering what you did wrong. You may have known that you had a high risk of osteoporosis because your mother also had it. Therefore you had been doing everything in your power not to go down the same road as she did. (Source)
You may have been going to the gym, ensuring you got enough calcium and vitamin D, and you still have been told that you have osteoporosis.
Alternatively, you may have been blindsided. You never thought that it would happen to you. After all, you didn’t have a family history of it, and it never occurred to you that this might happen. You didn’t even know what osteoporosis was until your doctor told you that that is the reason why you broke your hip.
In either of the above scenarios, you will have fear of what your future holds. In the first case, you may know the road that your mother went down – hip fracture, curvature of the spine, pain in her back – and be fearful for what is going to happen to you in years to come. You may be concerned about what your body will look like as you age with osteoporosis, and this can result in depression and reduced self image.
On the other hand, in the second case described above, if you know no one with osteoporosis, you may not understand the disease and how it will impact you as you get older. This can be just as scary to deal with if you don’t know what osteoporosis is and what to expect.
In both scenarios, it is important that you find someone with which to discuss your concerns. You may want to look into osteoporosis support groups in your area. Some physical therapy clinics also offer osteoporosis group exercise programs.
How does osteoporosis affect your daily life?
If you are living with osteoporosis, the fear of falling and a fracture may consume your mind. Although this is a legitimate concern, you have to remember that the less you do, the weaker your muscles and bones become. (Source)
You may need to adapt activities, or take on new, safer ones. The important thing to remember is that the diagnosis does not have to rob you of your life.
When you take a proactive role, you will feel better mentally and be stronger physically.
In summary, the diagnosis of osteoporosis can affect you psychologically. The important thing is not to let the disease control your life. Instead, you can maintain and/or regain control of your life by acknowledging your feelings.
Learn about the disease and what you can do to be proactive and protect your bones from future injuries. Doing so can allow you to live many more quality healthy years, even with osteoporosis.
Should I Take Vitamin & Mineral Supplements To Reduce My Risk of Osteoporosis?
Whether you should take vitamins and minerals for overall health has been an ongoing debate amongst health professionals for many years now. Depending whom you speak to or what you read, some are convinced that you can meet all of your body’s vitamin and mineral needs through a healthy diet, and that there is no need for any supplementation. However, other healthcare professionals say that it is impossible to meet all your body’s vitamin and mineral needs through diet alone.
They say that this is impossible for several reasons including:
- Plant-based foods are being grown in nutrient-depleted soils, which means these plants you consume are also low in nutrients.
- If you don’t buy your foods locally and in season, fresh produce that has to travel many miles to get to you loses its nutritional value.
- The fast-paced lifestyles of many results in nutritional deficiencies from eating too much take-out or fast foods.
Another factor that needs to be considered, according to the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” is that people come from all different cultures and backgrounds, and they have different food and lifestyle choices. Also, their income and life circumstances can also affect their food and physical activity choices.
Which type of calcium is best for osteoporosis?
That being said, it is evident that there is no one answer that fits all. However, when it comes to osteoporosis, the first thing you need to do is find out how much calcium you should be getting every day, in order to reduce the risks of and effects of this devastating bone-thinning disease. (Source)
The amount you require depends on your gender and age. Then you should determine if you are, in fact, getting enough calcium and vitamin D from the foods that you are eating every day. There are online calculators that you can use to determine these levels.
And even if the math you do shows that you are consuming enough, if you have certain health conditions such as Crohn’s, you should speak to your doctor for advice because you may not be absorbing what you are consuming.
Furthermore, if you eat a lot of salty foods, drink cola, or a lot of caffeinated beverages or sweets, you may need even more calcium to make up the difference in calcium loss from your bones that these items can cause.
Do Calcium Supplements Help Osteoporosis?
If you are relatively healthy, but you are falling short of the recommended calcium and vitamin D levels on most or some days, then it would be wise to explore supplementation. (Source)
You should always discuss this with your doctor and pharmacist first, because calcium supplements can interfere when taken with certain drugs. Examples of drugs they interfere with include bisphosphonates which are the number one treatment option for osteoporosis, levothyroxine used for hypothyroidism, and some antibiotics. (Source)
If you are going to take calcium supplements, look for those that also have vitamin D in them, as both work together for healthy bones. Many will also contain magnesium. Here are things you should know before you take calcium:
- Calcium carbonate is inexpensive, but it is best absorbed if you take it with food.
- Calcium citrate, may be more expensive, but it can be absorbed with food or on an empty stomach. Take it with food if you get an upset stomach if taking it when your stomach is empty. Calcium citrate is better absorbed by people with lower levels of stomach acid, especially the elderly.
It is also to remember that no matter what kind of calcium you are taking – citrate or carbonate – your body can only absorb 500 mg at a time. This means that if you are taking 1000 mg/day, that you should split your doses into two per day such as morning and evening.
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