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Are Your Bones Healthy?

By Sara Butler

Most people think of osteoporosis, or brittle bones, as a problem that only impacts older people. It may be true that many fractures of the hip, arm, and spine happen to those over the age of 65, but the groundwork for osteoporosis is laid earlier than that. And once you reach the point where your bones begin to break, then it’s often too late to do anything about the disorder. Here are a few signs you should look for now to know if you’re heading down the road to osteoporosis and what you can do about it.

Are Your Nails Brittle?

Breaking a nail is never fun, but if you find it happens to you a lot, then it might be a reflection of what is going on in your bones. Studies have started to suggest that low levels of collagen that lead to brittle nails can also lead to brittle bones. Also look for ridges on your nails that run vertically. That may be a sign you’re not getting enough calcium, either.

You need to make sure you’re getting enough foods in your diet that are rich in calcium such as yogurt, milk, kale, sardines, broccoli, and cottage cheese.

Receding Gums

Your teeth are anchored by your jawbone. If it starts to become weak, then your gums will start to recede, perhaps even detaching from your teeth. If you lose teeth or find your dentures are beginning to fit improperly, then it may be a sign that you’re going to get osteoporosis unless you do something about it.

If you have risk factors for osteoporosis, make sure to tell your dentist. These include a family history of the disease or long-term steroid use for another problem. If your dentist knows to look for it, they may be able to help you catch early warning signs of osteoporosis.

Get a Grip

If you struggle to push yourself up from sitting or you can’t quite get that jar of spaghetti sauce open, then it may be because your bone density is lacking. The strength of your grip may be a result of a problem with bone density, which can also impact your balance as well as your muscle strength.

You may want to start working on building muscle through exercise and also working to improve your balance. Get the help of a personal trainer so you can learn how to lift weights properly, and maybe try yoga if you haven’t before. 

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