Approximately 1.4 million Canadians have osteoporosis, and the vast majority of this number is made up of postmenopausal women and seniors of both genders. This condition has many causes, many of which are preventable. The Mississauga 24-hour care experts at Home Care Assistance discuss a few of the causes of osteoporosis and offer tips on how your aging loved one can reduce his or her risk of developing it.
1. Hormone Imbalances
A number of different hormones are responsible for regulating bone density. A decrease in estrogen levels after menopause or a hysterectomy is the leading cause of osteoporosis in women. In men, low testosterone can lead to decreased bone density. This is because the body converts some testosterone into bone-saving estrogen. Too much parathyroid hormone can cause calcium to be lost through the urine, which can weaken bones. As we age, the body also produces less human growth hormone, which is essential in building healthy bones. Encouraging your loved one to get annual physicals that include blood tests can help identify hormone deficiencies so they can be treated before causing significant bone loss.
2. Lack of Calcium
The heart, muscles, and nerves require calcium to function properly. When the body becomes deficient in calcium, it draws from the reserves stored in the bones. Over time, this can deplete the reserves so much that it interferes with the process of bone growth and regeneration. A diet containing low-fat dairy and doctor-recommended supplements is one of the best ways to ensure your loved one gets enough calcium.
3. Vitamin D Deficiency
The active form of vitamin D, also known as calcitriol, acts similar to a hormone. It helps the body absorb and utilize calcium to create strong bones. The two major sources of vitamin D are fortified dairy products and sunlight. You can boost your loved one’s vitamin D levels by simply encouraging him or her to go outside for a few minutes every day.
4. A Sedentary Lifestyle
Bones must be used to remain strong. Seniors who are sedentary, either by choice or due to medical conditions, can experience bone loss and muscle atrophy very quickly. Weight-bearing activities like walking are an excellent way to preserve and build bone mass.
To learn more about senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and help with a wide variety of important everyday tasks. For more information on the senior care Mississauga, ON, families trust, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 to request a free in-home consultation.