When you were a kid, you probably felt unbreakable. Roller skating down a hill? No problem, show you the hill! And taking a leap off the tire swing into the creek? You would do it ALL day long.
You could take a fall with the best of them. And you even had the scraped knees and elbows to prove it.
But these days you’re likely a little more cautious about taking a tumble. Because as we get older we don’t always bounce back so easily anymore.
And let’s face it we’ve all know someone who broke a hip or leg and was never the same again.
Common bone changes that come with age
As we age, a number of bone-related changes take place.
Collagen loss happens faster than our body can replace it, making our bones less flexible. And we begin to lose cartilage in our joints and the cushioning fluid between the disks in our spines.
In fact, this—along with muscle weakening—is why we all lose a bit of height, as we get older.
Our bones start to lose calcium and other minerals, making them more brittle. And they become less dense. In other words, you’re not imagining it. You really are more breakable than you used to be.
But other factors can lead to a more extreme bone loss. Thing like not getting enough vitamin D to absorb the calcium our bones need, long-term use of proton pump inhibitors or corticosteroids, being sedentary and hormone deficiencies such as the drop in estrogen women see after menopause.
4 unexpected clues you have bone loss
Osteoporosis is the name given to bone loss when it drops below a certain level. At this point, your body is unable to make new bone as fast as you’re losing it.
And for many folks, there aren’t any obvious symptoms of extreme bone loss until they have their first broken bone. But experts say there are some unexpected clues that observant folks may be able to catch.
Knowing these signs could help you do something to turn things around before it’s too late.
1. Losing height:
As I mentioned earlier, we all tend to lose a bit of height as we age. But if your height loss is sudden, or more than one to three inches, it could be a sign of more extreme bone loss.
Getting shorter as you age doesn’t always mean you’re in danger of developing osteoporosis or extreme bone loss. But it’s worth talking with your doctor about if your height change doesn’t seem normal.
2. Broken nails:
If your nails have become far more brittle than normal this could be an early red flag for bone problems. We all break a nail from time to time, of course. But if your nails are breaking often, and with little trauma behind the breaks, it could be a sign your calcium or collagen stores are running low.
Both calcium and collagen are essential for healthy, strong bones.
To raise your calcium levels you can eat more dark leafy greens, sardines and dairy foods. But be sure you’re getting adequate vitamin D too, which your body needs to absorb calcium efficiently. And you can boost your collagen production by eating more chicken or turkey bone broth, chlorella, citrus foods, berries and leafy greens.
3. A weak grip:
We’re all stymied by a stubborn mayonnaise jar, or thwarted by a tricky pickle container, from time to time. But if you find that your grip has become noticeably weaker it’s time to talk to the doctor.
Research has revealed that a weak grip is one of the most reliable ways to confirm a hidden case of bone loss. A weakening grip could be a sign of thinning bones in your arms, hips or even your spine.
4. Cramps, aches and pains:
It’s common, as we get older to suffer from run-of-the-mill aches and pains. And as you age, you may develop certain painful conditions such as arthritis.
But are you experiencing frequent unexplained aches and pain? Maybe you’re even waking up in the middle of the night with leg cramps. If so, it’s possible you’re running low on magnesium or potassium.
Over time, deficiencies of these bone-critical nutrients could lead to bone loss. But you can raise your levels with a few diet tweaks. To raise your magnesium levels focus on eating more spinach, Swiss chard, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, almonds and avocados. To bump up potassium levels try avocados, acorn squash, spinach, sweet potatoes and wild-caught salmon.
And don’t forget, weight-bearing exercise is an absolute must if you want to maintain a healthy skeleton.
Click here to read my free report on one other secret to unbreakable bones that’s located in your belly.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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