When I googled silent disease, one of the first things I saw was an article on osteoporosis. I’ve heard that osteoporosis is a silent disease, and you, like me, may be wondering why it’s called this. A silent disease is one that continues to develop in the absence of symptoms. So how does this apply to osteoporosis?
We tend to think of bones as being the foundation on top of which the other structures of our body are formed, like a house being built on a concrete slab. Unlike the house’s foundation that remains solid and inert, our bones are alive like the rest of our body and are always being broken down and rebuilt. Sometimes though, our bones are not able to be built back as fast as they are broken down, resulting in osteoporosis.
Now obviously, we can’t feel our bones ebbing and flowing. And that’s exactly why it’s called a silent disease. We are so wrapped up in the joys, the sorrows, the small triumphs, and the aggravations of our lives to notice that our bones need to be cared for just as our brains, our hearts, and our kidneys do. We need to recognize when our bones may be in trouble before we fall and break one. According to WebMD, there are several risk factors for unhealthy bones.
- Low estrogen in women
- Low testosterone in men
- Other hormonal imbalances: thyroid and parathyroid conditions
- Inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Certain medications
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Fortunately, there are things that we can do to maintain healthy bones, so start preventing or treating this silent disease before it becomes too loud too ignore.
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