Officially, Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis usually don't show up until there's already been a break or a fracture or a fall.
But there are other tell tale signs that are clues.
Statistically it's primarily older women that get osteoporosis but older men show some of the tell tale signs as well, and they get fractures and breaks as well, just statistically less often.
The good news is, Osteoporosis is simple to prevent, and simple to reverse. Whether you have any osteoporosis symptoms or not, it's safe to assume that the process is happening to some degree.
If you know what you're looking for, there are several signs and symptoms of osteoporosis that point the way to a (self) diagnosis.
If you don't know what you're looking for then the first osteoporosis symptoms you'll come cross are fractured or broken bones.
Hip fractures and a resulting fall are very common 'first signs'. But there are lots of clues to be seen LONG BEFORE.
There is no good reason to ever have ANY osteoporosis symptoms, as it's an easy thing to keep one's bones healthy and strong.
The point here is, as osteoporosis is a 'silent disease' that ever so slowly creeps up on a person, AS IT SLOWLY PROGRESSES there are still tell tale signs.
And, usually the first time when people start paying attention is when there's already been a fracture or a break.
Early Detection is where it's at. That's the smart move The earlier you start doing something about it, the healthier you and your bones will be over the next many decades.
It's Too Late is how most people play the game. Pain, sudden pain, one or more fractures or breaks. The game of life gets much less fun at that point.
See below for 'early detection' and 'it's too late' signs and symptoms of osteoporosis.
If you know what to look for, there are plenty of signs and symptoms of osteoporosis that are warning signs.
And if you wait long enough, then it becomes obvious.
Early Warning Signs Of Osteoporosis
'Too Late' Symptoms of Osteoporosis
The good news is for the most part anything can heal, and bone density loss from osteoporosis can be reversed at any age.
This is a breakdown in no particular order of the early warning signs and symptoms of osteoporosis.
1. Standard American Diet
If you or a loved one eat the Standard American Diet, then you are sure to suffer some amount of osteoporosis mechanism.
Bones require adequate amounts of specific nutrition, mainly calcium. And we generally get enough of that even with the SAD diet.
But the body requires adequate amounts of OTHER nutrition to be able to utilize the calcium we have plenty of.
And that is greatly lacking in the SAD diet, and why osteoporosis is such a national health issue.
It is also why Tendonitis is such a prevalent issue.
2. Over 45 years of age
Statistically, Osteoporosis starts showing up in individuals over 45.
The process is already in place before that, it just takes to to progress and get 'bad'.
Women hit menopause about then, so the mechanism starts progressing faster about then.
Historically men don't show signs of osteoporosis until much later for a variety of reasons, but that is changing due to factors like the SAD diet, medications, etc.
Point being, if you're over 40 and aren't doing the right things (or are doing the wrong things), then you are at risk for the progression of osteoporosis.
3. Supplementing only with Calcium
Regardless of whether there has been an osteoporosis diagnosis, if you are supplementing only with Calcium, then you are still at risk of the progression of Osteoporosis.
Last I looked, the US had the highest rates of Osteoporosis AND the highest rates of Calcium supplementation.
Obviously more calcium supplementation isn't the answer (yet doctors still prescribe it as if it is....which I find to be very weird).
For the most part we get enough Calcium from our diets, even the SAD diet. But we don't get enough of the right nutrition necessary for our bodies to utilize that Calcium.
4. Loss of height
As we age, it is common to lose height.
Partly this is a function of poor posture, lack of exercise, the tight uscle part of the Pain Causing Dynamic, etc.
But when osteoporosis is responsible for height loss, that loss of height is due to one or both of:
Note that one can have low bone density related compression fractures and feel no pain (even while losing height). But the structural negatives add up over time.
If you are a loved one is getting shorter, there is no mystery as to why. And it's not just 'getting older' (that's what doctors say when they don't know how to reverse the loss of height).
5. Bone Pain
Bone pain can happen for a few reasons, but specifically for this conversation, only two reasons.
Tendonitis can result in bone pain, but it's not REAL bone pain (it just feels like it).
But as bones shrink, they can hurt for a variety of reasons. And when bone density decreases to the point where compressoin fracturs start to happen, then you get REAL bone pain.
As we age we get used to aches and pains, so often this bone pain gets overlooked as just another thing that hurts today.
Bone pain is one of the tricker signs and symptoms of osteoporosis as you can have bone pain with, or without, a fracture.
Chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic wrist pain, can all be early signs of osteoporosis progression.
And if it's not a fracture today, if one does not effectively reverse the osteoporosis mechanism that's in play, it will be a fracture one day.
Of all the osteoporosis symtoms, this is the one created by the pharmaceutical industry, specifically Merck.
Merck pushed this diagnosis as a new 'disease' and of course one that needs pharmaceutical drugs.
But in reality, osteopenia is just the very beginnings of osteoporosis.
Nothing to worry about, other than that it's evidence of osteoporosis mechanism.
As osteopenia is a diagnosis only discoverable by doctors and testing, getting an osteopenia diagnosis is good news! Now you have proof that you have something that needs your attention.
And the earlier you start reversing osteoporosis, the less problems you'll have anywhere down the line.
Don't let the doctors scare you. Osteopenia is no big deal (but you do have to take some effective corrective action or it will turn into a bigger deal as you get older.
And by 'get older' I mean 'more time doing the wrong things instead of the right things that reverse osteoporosis and make strong, dense bones until you are 100 years old'.
7. Lack of Exercise
Anytime you see someone over 45 that doesn't exercise, that is an early sign of osteoporosis.
Load bearing and/or resistive exercises are necessary for the brain to send the right commands to make bones strong/stronger.
See: Exercises To Prevent Osteoporosis
When women hit menopause it can/does throw off hormonal function, and long story short that can lead to less bone density.
Hormone replacement therapy has been used for decades, though there are some ups and downs to that conversation.
If menopause is involved that is a clue that the osteoporosis mechanism is most likely in process.
9. Widows Hump/Dowagers Hump
Widow's hump is primarily in the beginning a poor posture and muscle imbalance thing.
Then as the posture gets worse, fractures and bone loss come into play, and it all gets worse.
Up to a certain point (more of a hump than one might expect), it is reversible. But once bones change shape, it's not going backwards.
If you see evidence of a widow's hump, that is a good sign that osteoporosis is at play.
10. Taking one or more of various osteoporosis-causing medications
There are various over the counter drugs and prescription-only medications that, ultimately, cause osteoporosis.
See: Medications That Cause Osteoporosis
Breaks are obvious. But fractures can be very small, causing small amounts of pain that nobody really pays attention to.
But even if a fracture is 'small' and you dont even feel it, it's too late. Damage has been done and more damage is on it's way.
1. Bone Fracture
Compression fracture, wedge fracture, osteoporotic fracture, vertebral fracture.
Call it what you will, it is a fracture caused by decreased bone density, and thus a less structurally sound bone
Fractures can be so small that they can't be felt (but the bone is disintegrating). And they can even be larger fractures and not cause any pain (but the bone is disintegrating even more).
Or the small fractures can cause bone pain that we think is just a regular ache or pain (even if it lasts for years).
Eventually, the non-painful or slightly painful fracture becomes painful (or it heals but something else fractures and there's pain...it's all part of a downward spiral).
Bone pain means there's a problem. Fractures means there's osteoporosis.
2. Bone Break
Density can become so low that usual force applied to bones just from walking around can result in a complete bone break.
So a person is walking around and BAM their hip bone breaks in half and they fall to the floor.
Or one (or more) of their vertebrae breaks.
Or the lean on the wall or a bed and a wrist bone breaks.
A sudden break under normal daily activities is one of the most obvious (and brutal) signs and symptoms of osteoporosis.
Avoid that at all costs. And if it's already happened, then reverse the osteoporosis mechanism and make bones strong again to AVOID any other break from happening.
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