Love your Bones!

Bones are active living tissues that are a rigid part of the body skeleton. Bones consist of living cells in mineralized organic matrix consisting of organic components (mainly collagen fibres) and an inorganic bone mineral in the form of small crystals. The major minerals of the intercellular composite which are essential for bone formation are calcium and phosphate. Though lightweight, bones are strong and hard performing various vital functions in the body which includes support, protection, blood cell production, movement, mineral and fat storage.
At birth, a human baby has about 300 bones. Over time, some of these bones fuse together to form 206 bones in adulthood. They also attain maximum density and strength at about age 30. Afterwards, bone mass begins to decline with increase in age. These bones break and are replaced almost immediately. As people age, the bones are not replaced as often as they break, giving way to osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis, an English + Greek word which literally means pores accumulated in the bones, occurs when bones become thinner and more fragile that they begin to break due to loss of tissue. Osteoporosis can make bones so weak that a little fall or mild stress may cause a bone to break.
Factors that increase the possibility of having osteoporosis includes:  being a female, older age, having a family history of osteoporosis, having small body frame, low sex hormones, increased thyroid hormones, low calcium intake, gastrointestinal surgery, and eating disorders. Others are lifestyle choices such as physical inactivity, excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco use, long use of steroids and some medications.
In the early stage of bone loss, symptoms are not easily noticed but when weakened, the following symptoms may be noticed -
     ·         Loss of height
     ·         Stooped posture
     ·         Bones that easily fractures
     ·         Back pain.
Complications that may arise as a result of osteoporosis are hip or spine fractures which may result in social as well as physical trauma. Your bones can only experience true love when it is showered with much care and this can be done by taking actions that help to prevent the development of osteoporosis. These recommended actions are:

   Ø  Eat a healthy diet rich in protein, calcium and vit D
   Ø  Indulge in regular physical activities.
   Ø  Maintain a healthy body weight
   Ø  Avoid tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.

   By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi

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