A study released in 2017 revealed that seniors with type 2 diabetes are more prone to fractures. It’s general knowledge that bone density reduces significantly as one gets older, but this is not the only cause of fractures in seniors with diabetes. This new revelation was as a result of studies conducted by Elizabeth Samelson of Hebrew Senior Life’s Institute for Aging Research in Boston and her colleagues.
They used specialized scans that were directed at 1000 people for a period of three years before coming up with the findings. According to the studies, elderly people who had type 2 diabetes had bone weakness that normal bone density tests might miss.
They found skeletal deficiencies that greatly caused higher fracture risks. According to the study, the risk was prevalent even in seniors with a high bone density. This means that type 2 diabetes increases fracture risks among the elderly, even when there is no sign of osteoporosis.
According to the studies, seniors with diabetes had a 40% to 50% chance getting hip fractures. This is a major concern, and preventive measures should be employed to curb the risk. For this to happen, more studies are required to help understand factors that can reduce these risks and increase bone strength.
Hip fractures are as a result of the weight the hip has to carry. If the bones are not strong, this can lead to fractures. The risk increases if one trips, falls or moves a heavy object.
Why are Fractures Such a Sensitive Topic for seniors?
To understand why it’s a great concern, it’s important to realize that bones become weaker with age. From birth to about 30 years, bone density continues to increase, but after that, the rate of bone formation decreases. It gets to a point where old bone tissue is removed but is not replaced at the same or faster rate as was the case in the former years.
This results in weak bones which have a reduced mass. When the bones are weak, they are prone to fractures.
Fractures affect the quality of life and can also lead to disability and death. Both diabetes and osteoporosis can be reduced if lifestyle changes are factored in.
The sad thing about osteoporosis is that you might not even realize you have the condition until when you develop a fracture or get too weak to support yourself. It’s important to have a regular bone density test after 65 years of age.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
Women are more prone to the condition than men. For women who have reached menopause, the reduction in bone density is more noticeable than men of the same age.
Thin bodied people are also at a higher risk. Ethnicity and family history also play a part. Factors you can change include alcohol intake, smoking and lifestyle behaviors. Anorexia and certain medications can also lead to loss of bone mass.
Understanding the implications of an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to taking precautions early in life. The benefits of a healthy lifestyle for senior citizens cannot be overemphasized. Smoking and drinking alcohol are just some of the habits to stop as the years’ progress on.
Diabetes Preventive Measures
The same case applies to diabetes. Early interventions ensure the disease does not develop later on in life. This doesn’t mean you cannot develop diabetes at a young age. Most factors that cause the disease include obesity, stress, unhealthy diets, depression, hereditary factors, and age.
Other than the age and genetic factors, all the other elements can be reversed. The more you take care of your body at a young age, the stronger you will be later on in life.
Exercising, eating right and reducing stress are things that can prevent and even treat the disease. Exercising relieves any form of stress. Make it part of your lifestyle, even in old age. If you used to exercise when younger, you will find it easier to continue with the trend even as a senior.
Some medications can treat both osteoporosis and diabetes. To determine whether you are at a risk of developing osteoporosis, it’s important to go for a bone density test. This is also important when on medication to improve the bone mass.