Osteoporosis in children isn’t a common consideration for most people. Often, we see osteoporosis as an elderly disease. The youngest we tend to consider are osteoporosis and menopause. But, you rarely hear people talk about osteoporosis in kids.
Sure, osteoporosis is less likely the younger you are. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Kids usually love soft drinks. And, soft drinks can be osteoporosis’ best ally. Moreover, our childhoods are a crucial period of our development. It’s when nutrition plays a vital role in prevention.
So, what does osteoporosis mean for children?
Osteoporosis in children summarized
Normally, we grow more bone than we lose until we’re 25. Bones grow and rebuild constantly. And, this process is stronger during our younger years.
However, juvenile osteoporosis is a possibility. It’s a disruption of the natural bone growth process. It could result in not enough built bone or excessive bone loss. In other words, it’s virtually the same as regular osteoporosis.
That said, the causes typically link to medical conditions and medication. Lifestyle factors can cause juvenile osteoporosis. But, it’s much less likely. In most cases, a kid’s regular physical activity is enough prevention.
Is treatment different in kids?
Osteoporosis in children means its complications are worse as they grow older. Untreated juvenile osteoporosis can increase fracture risk considerably. Moreover, this risk worsens with time. Thus, treatment is crucial when dealing with osteoporosis at a young age.
Luckily, treating juvenile osteoporosis isn’t all that different from adult osteoporosis. The first step is to diagnose the condition. Then, improving the kid’s diet with more calcium and vitamin D comes next. Supplementation is also a worthy tactic.
Plus, encourage children to partake in physical activity and sports. Just make sure the exercise is appropriate for the kid. Not all workouts are ideal when you have osteoporosis. For instance, you must keep them away from sports that could result in fractures.
Considering bone health since childhood
Nebraska Medicine points out that we can consider osteoporosis a pediatric disease. That’s because its prevention must begin during our childhood. Sure, it’s less likely to occur. But, that doesn’t mean we can neglect prevention.
Quite the opposite, it’s the perfect time to build a strong bone foundation. During our childhoods, we can optimize our bone growth. And, this study supports the link between early growth and late bone health.
Experts agree that early age is becoming increasingly important for osteoporosis prevention. The earlier we start treating it, the better the results.
Then, how can we do that?
The two pillars for preventing osteoporosis in children: Planning ahead
Luckily, OrthoInfo states that you only need to focus on two areas: nutrition and physical activity. These two factors are the most influential in promoting or hindering bone growth. What do you need to keep in mind?
Regarding nutrition, we have two critical nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is the most important for our bone mass. It treats and prevents osteoporosis. Yet, we can’t produce it in our bodies. That means we need to get it from food.
And, vitamin D is responsible for effective calcium absorption. So, make sure you prioritize those two nutrients.
Of course, that’s only half of the approach. Children need weight-bearing exercise to optimize bone growth and strength. Luckily, that doesn’t mean joining a gym. Walking, running, and team sports are great options.
That said, we must pay special attention to young girls. Excessive exercise and weight loss can disrupt menstrual periods. The result is estrogen loss, also causing bone loss.
The holistic takeaway
Now, osteoporosis in children shouldn’t be a big problem in most cases. You don’t have to worry constantly about your kids’ bones. But, that doesn’t mean you should forget about it. Instead, make the most out of this time to ensure your kids are safe later.
Thankfully, it’s not the only chance you have to prevent or treat osteoporosis. The Bone Density Solution is my favorite osteoporosis treatment right now. It focuses entirely on exercises and natural treatment.
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