Bone loss often occurs without any warning signs or symptoms. That is why Osteoporosis is known by many as the Silent Disease. Many are often unsuspecting until a fracture hasn’t healed in average time or chronic back pain is plaguing them. And most people believe that Osteoporosis is an ailment that only impacts older women. While this is commonly found to be true, both men and children can also be afflicted by it.
Osteoporosis in Children
Dr. Ellen Rome, head of the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Adolescent Medicine, has said that eating disorders in young children are a contributor to Osteoporosis. The professor of pediatrics at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College states that what children put into their bodies is just as important as what they’re not putting in their bodies. If they aren’t getting enough calcium or Vitamin D, for example, those lacking nutrients can play a factor in the development of Osteoporosis.
Parents wondering what type of diet to feed their children need to at least be sure their kids are eating healthy. Processed foods are not ideal. Instead, your children should be consuming protein-rich foods. This can include lean meat like chicken, eggs, dairy products low in fat and of course, fruits and vegetables. Another advocate for children, Maciejko advises against feeding your kids starch-rich foods. That means pasta, potatoes and white bread are off the menu. Whole grain options are the better choices.
Osteoporosis in Men
Approximately two million men in America have already discovered they have the disease. Another 12 million more at risk of getting it. Many men believe they are safe from Osteoporosis, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Men over the age of 50 are far more likely to develop Osteoporosis and break a bone from it than they are to develop cancer of the prostate. One in four men over the age of 50 will not only have Osteoporosis, but actually break a bone from it.
Determining if You’re At Risk
Rather than waiting for a fracture to happen or pain to develop, you can find ways to determine if you’re at risk for Osteoporosis sooner. If you have a family history of Osteoporosis, it’s ideal that you get tested right away to know your chances of developing the disease. Other things that could put you at an increased risk include:
- Taking steroids
- Tobacco Use
- Frequent Alcohol Use
- A Hyperactive Thyroid
- Having other bone conditions, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Experiencing Multiple Fractures
Staying Ahead of the Disease
In order to stay ahead of the disease, you need to know when to get tested. If you’ve determined you’re at risk, you should seek a bone density test immediately. If no risk factors are present, you should still get tested once you reach a certain age. Once you reach 65, the test should be completed at least every two years.
There are several treatment options for handling the disease. While they will not cure it completely, they will help handle the situation and reduce the symptoms and problems associated with it. Adding Vitamin D and calcium to your diet is the first step, as it will help improve bones and bone strength.
Osteoporosis is a silent disease that plagues many. Women are not the only ones it can harm, but men and children as well. By determining risk factors and having a bone density test done regularly, anyone at risk for the disease can get ahead of it and live their lives to the fullest.