Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which an individual has a below normal bone mass combined with a gradual deterioration of the structure within the bone. This leads to a general fragility in the skeleton of an individual most often in the hips, spine, and wrists. Osteoporosis is most devastating in the hips and spine, where fractures of the bone are very serious. A fracture of the hip bone requires immediate hospitalization, as it can paralyze the individual and also damage internal organs. A fracture of the spine is even more serious, as it can lead to nerve damage which can be fatal.
The only way to assuredly detect osteoporosis is through a bone density test. This can detect osteoporosis before a possibly life-threatening fracture can occur, predict the likelihood of developing osteoporosis in the future, and also monitor progress of bone structure restoration. The prevention of osteoporosis is not simply consuming more calcium; it also requires other nutrients that help the body utilize and integrate calcium into the bone structure along with the activity to induce the body into using that calcium. To stop osteoporosis from ever developing, one should consume plenty of calcium and vitamin D, have a generally healthy lifestyle, without smoking and moderate to little alcohol consumption, and also commit to weight-bearing exercise. This last precaution is one that is often ignored, as many people believe that consuming adequate calcium and vitamins is enough to make the bones strengthen themselves. However, without weight-bearing exercise directly stressing those bones, the body will never feel that is has a need to strengthen those bones whatsoever. Therefore, without the exercise to call upon the consumed calcium and vitamins, those nutrients will simply go to waste. Many individuals have weakened bone structure without ever being aware of it because they do not commit to also doing the exercise needed to keep their bones strong.