Osteoporosis And Exercise

Preventing And Reversing Osteoporosis Through Exercise

Tag: osteoporosis

Osteoporosis Exercise

Exercise For Osteoporosis

Regular exercise is a good way to strengthen bones and help prevent osteoporosis. Even for those with osteoporosis, certain exercise groups can help keep your level of bone mass.

Exercising doesn’t just build muscle and endurance. It also helps to build and maintain bone mass and density. Bone density means how much bone you have and how thick it is.

There are three types of exercise needed to build healthy bones for those with osteoporosis: weight-bearing, resistance and flexibility.

Weight-bearing just means using your legs and feet to support your whole weight, so it includes walking but not swimming or cycling (these are good for endurance but not specifically for osteoporosis).

With resistance exercises, you use another object to work with: this strengthens your muscles and builds your bones up, reducing the likelihood of them fracturing. Resistance exercises can include resistance tubing, free weights (or weight machines) and water aerobics. Water aerobics means any kind of exercise done in water that makes your muscles push against it.

Flexibility exercises are important for osteoporosis because they can help prevent injuries.

With all of these exercises, if you have never been very active, talk to your doctor or


physical therapist about an exercise program and which would be best for you. Don’t try high impact exercises, like jogging or jumping rope if you already have osteoporosis or osteopenia as they may cause fractures or injure your spine. It is better to try low impact exercises, such as walking or gardening.

It’s also important to be wary of exercise that includes bending and twisting at the waist, such as sit-ups, some particular yoga poses and rowing machines, as this can lead to fractures.

Hyperparathyroidism And Osteoporosis

Hyperparathyroidism

The four tiny parathyroid glands are situated in your neck, behind the thyroid gland. They make parathyroid hormone, which helps to keep a steady level of calcium in your body. Calcium is important, not only for your bones and teeth but also for muscles and nerves. Hyperparathyroidism means you have too much (hyper) parathyroid hormone in your bloodstream. This is probably because one or more of the parathyroid glands is too active.

There are two kinds of hyperparathyroidism. Primary hyperparathyroidism happens because one of the parathyroid glands gets bigger and produces more hormone. This extra amount of hormone means there is extra calcium in the bloodstream. This can cause a number of problems, including confusion and kidney stones. Primary hyperparathyroidism is usually treated by surgery to remove the enlarged gland.

The other kind of hyperparathyroidism is called secondary. It happens because some other problem reduces the level of calcium in the body, so the parathyroid glands step up production of the hormone to put more calcium in the bloodstream. They get this calcium from the bones, weakening them.

Hyperparathyroidism is a “silent” disease because it is often diagnosed before symptoms appear.

The word is a mouthful — hyperparathyroidism — but it stands for a series of symptoms that can make life uncomfortable. It can be frightening as well, especially when the body seems to be changing on its own and where the person experiencing the transformations might be wondering if they will ever have their body and mind back.

Symptoms are fairly general but uncomfortable. They include nausea, constipation, abdominal pain, and even kidney stones. Excess calcium in the bloodstream can also cause mental confusion, leading to a diagnosis of dementia, although this is entirely treatable. Surgery is one course of treatment, but medication therapy and monitoring start out the process. Treatment aims to stop calcium being released from the bones, preventing osteoporosis and relieving the uncomfortable symptoms that arise from too much blood calcium. Kidney stones are a possible side effect because the release of calcium from the bones leads to an increase of phosphate which is got rid of by the kidneys. (Bones are made of calcium phosphate.)

Calcium is a mineral (think “chalk”) that affects body functions such as bone formation, the release of hormones and even muscle, brain, and nervous system functioning. The parathyroid hormone influences calcium absorption, release from the body, and its release into the system from the bones.

The Types Of Hyperparathyroidism
One of two types of hyperparathyroidism could be the culprit for putting too much calcium into the blood stream. In the primary variety, the parathyroid glands enlarge to overproduce parathyroid hormone to cause hypercalcemia (too much calcium). Surgeons can go in and remove one or more of the four glands to force regulation of the hormone after checking whether one or more of these glands is over active.

In secondary hyperparathyroidism, the gland appears to under-produce calcium and then increase its production too much. This is secondary to an underlying disease that does not originate in the parathyroid gland.

Therapy
Medication therapy inhibits the loss of calcium from the bones, and may include the use of Vitamin D which is good for bone health. Other medications may work to thwart high calcium levels.

Management And Monitoring
Once the elevated calcium levels are noted, medication is usually prescribed, along with a strong suggestion to increase physical activity, and monitoring of disease progression. Bone density tests, creatinine, and calcium levels will be monitored.

Surgery for Hyperparathyroidism
Surgery is the best option for high calcium levels that continue despite lifestyle changes. Surgery is also indicated if kidney stones are present, or where bone fractures and osteoporosis occur.

In this case, it is key to find a surgeon who is adept at reaching the tiny glands in the neck without harming the vocal chords, the airway, or any main arteries or veins. So if the problem is only a small one, your doctor may advise waiting to see whether medication is sufficient to keep the matter in check.

There are two forms of surgery. The traditional one requires a large incision. It takes longer to heal from this, and can cause hoarseness of the voice. The other is called mini parathyroid surgery. This is minimally invasive but requires a surgeon with a great deal of specialized experience. Its plus side is that it saves the patient from potential harm by targeting the parathyroid location, without cutting open the entire neck and recovery is much quicker.

Help Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis

Help Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a loss of bone material that weakens the bones and can lead to fractures. It is a so called “silent” disease, as many people don’t know they have it until something happens, maybe a fall, where they break or fracture a bone.

They may not realise they have it until they end up in hospital after breaking a hip. Other people take a bone density test (to check their bone strength) and get the bad news that way.

Osteoporosis is most common in certain groups but these are not the only ones who can get it. Women who have passed the menopause, people with small frames and those whose families have suffered from it and the most likely to also have this condition. Anyone with osteoporosis or the earlier form, osteopenia, has an increased risk of bone fracture. And up to 50% of women and 25% of men over the age of 50 years will suffer this way, fracturing a hip, wrist or even their spine, though any bone can be affected.

Complete reversal of osteoporosis is probably not realistic, but it is possible to halt or even improve bone density, with exercise, diet and drugs. Together with exercises to improve balance, this can help prevent fractures happening.

Most people know they need to take more exercise, but many have difficulty finding the time. Balancing a career, family responsibilities and a social life can make it difficult to fit in exercise, even when it’s vitally necessary for managing a health condition, such as osteoporosis.
Regular weight training can help increase muscle mass and bone density and increase the metabolic rate too, which may lead to fat loss. It is important to exercise daily, maybe 30 – 60 minutes of exercise per day but better to do a smaller amount than none at all. Consistency is necessary if you really want to see changes and make improvements and you will need to gradually increase the intensity as you get fitter. Exercise, especially weight training can fight reductions in bone density. Early in the bone loss process, you may not see any signs, but eventually it can lead to broken bones, the disfiguring dowager’s hump, loss of height and certain types of back pain. After the age of 35, bone mass slowly declines but the rate of loss can be minimized and osteoporosis can be prevented by weight and resistance training. An active lifestyle, weight-bearing exercise and proper eating can significantly slow down the rate of bone loss. Remember to start slow and gradually increase the weights used.

While it is easy to purchase exercise videos, finding the time and motivation to use them regularly can be more difficult. It can help to draw out a weekly timetable of what you are already committed to (including sleep) and work out your best available times for exercise and then blocking these times out on your calendar. Another way of gaining the motivation to follow a fitness program is to read books about osteoporosis and find out as much about the condition you want to help as you possibly can. You can also find information on line, in magazines and leaflets, etc.

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