4 Early Warning Signs of Osteoporosis
A well-balanced diet, routine exercise, and regular visits to your doctor for checkups are all small tasks you need to do to live a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, even when following these tips, you can develop certain conditions as you age. Osteoporosis is a disease that may stem from genetics, your daily activity levels, or vitamin deficiencies, so it is difficult to avoid. Considering it affects an estimated 200 million women across the world, understanding the signs of osteoporosis is imperative. With this guide, you will learn the early signs of the disease, and that will help you and your doctor diagnose and treat your osteoporosis.
Recession of Gum Tissue
Receding gums is a sign of periodontal disease. If you are not showing other signs of this severe form of gum disease, the receding gum tissue could be an early warning sign of osteoporosis. In most cases, receding gums can be directly linked to bone loss in your jaw.
Your teeth are connected to the jawbone. If your bones are weakening and thinning, the gum tissue will begin to recede. This will not only affect your smile's look but also place risk on your overall dental health, since the roots and nerves of your teeth will be exposed due to the receding gum tissue.
If your gums are beginning to recede, consult your dentist. Panoramic x-rays will be taken to screen your jaw for bone loss.
Many people experience issues with their finger and toe nails. Nails can become weak due to your daily habits and the use of your fingers and toes, excessive contact with water, and even exposure to certain chemicals. However, weak, brittle finger and toe nails is also an early warning sign of osteoporosis.
Your nails are made from keratin, which is a strong protein similar to bone. Since keratin is thinner than your actual bones, osteoporosis will weaken the keratin in your nails before it affects your bones. This will cause your nails to appear thin and brittle.
You most likely have an older family member that you believe has shrunk. This is actually a realistic possibility, since osteoporosis can decrease a person's height in a few different ways.
Osteoporosis can cause pain and discomfort in your back, neck, legs, and arms. This can reduce your ability to stand and walk upright, forcing you to have a hunchback-like posture. This problem with your posture will make you appear shorter.
A fractured spine will also cause you to have posture issues. You may think you would know if your spine is fractured, but many patients with osteoporosis fracture their spine without even realizing it.
Reduced Hand Grip
Most people over the age of 65 years old will have a decreased ability to grip things with their hands. While this is due to osteoarthritis of the hands in many cases, a reduced hand grip is also an early warning sign of bone loss, or osteoporosis.
Bone loss can occur in the joints and bones of your hand, affecting the connecting muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This causes inflammation of the hand, which can also spread into your arms and shoulders. You may struggle to hold a pen and write, open jars, and even get dressed.
A reduced hand grip affects your ability to do simple tasks each day, but it can also lead to chronic pain and discomfort. If you are struggling to use your hands, contact your doctor for detailed testing.
Living with osteoporosis is possible, but it can be uncomfortable without proper diagnosis and treatment. If you are dealing with one or more of these warning signs, you and your doctor can begin a successful treatment plan for your osteoporosis.