Women, because they give birth, seem to be afflicted later in life when their hormone levels change. Women’s estrogen drops when they hit menopause and so does their bone structure; in fact, it is the leading cause for women to lose bone structure.
Men, on the other hand, can be afflicted when their testosterone levels drop. We commonly hear this referred to as ‘Low-T.’
There are other causes of bone loss and other risk factors though, too, for both men and women according to the NIH website http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000360.htm:
- Being confined to a bed
- Certain medical conditions
- Taking certain medicines
Other risk factors include:
- Absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea) for long periods of time
- A family history of osteoporosis
- Drinking a large amount of alcohol
- Low body weight
The worst thing about Osteoporosis is not realizing that you have it until you actually fracture a bone! There are no symptoms to speak of before that – in either men or women. Another horrific situation is that without injury, your client may have what are commonly referred to as compression fractures. These are fractures of the bones of the spine and can cause pain almost anywhere in the spine. Pain, in this situation can develop rapidly or over a span of time.
If your client has had Osteoporosis for some time, they may be losing height. A person can actually lose as much as six inches over time! The other obvious clue is if your client has developed a stooped posture or has kyphosis, otherwise known as a dowager’s hump. This is very painful and will afflict your client both physically and mentally; emotions run high, too!
All you can do is follow the previous instructions on good food and exercise (of course in the most severe cases, exercise may be just too painful to attempt!). When you offer these selfless things combined with your understanding, you are letting your clients know that With Age Comes Respect!