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Sneaky symptoms of bone issues

Siski Green / 27 January 2017

There are some subtle symptoms that indicate weak bones – find out what they are and how to prevent them.

Difficulty removing jar lid
Losing the strength to do simple tasks such as opening a jar can indicate that you’ve lost strength overall. Photo posed by model © Shutterstock

Once you hit 50 the risk of weakened bones increases – osteoporosis affects three million women in the UK – but that needn’t mean that you will suffer with bone problems.

How to help prevent osteoporosis

A family history of osteoporosis is important as it can mean you’re more at risk but there are also certain symptoms that may suggest you’ve got problems with your bones – find out what they are so you can work on preventing further damage. 

Osteoporosis: the foods to eat, the treatments available

Your teeth are wobbly

This isn’t as simple as a lack of calcium leading to weak teeth – tooth loss can be caused by your jaw bone decreasing in size. This leads to your gums receding and even to teeth becoming loose and falling out.

Regular dental check-ups should help as your dentist will be able to spot any changes in your jaw bone and also advise you on whether your dental issues are related to your jaw bone or something else.  

Your heart beats quickly even when you’re sitting

Your resting heart rate is a good indicator of your fitness levels – fitter people tend to have a slower resting heart rate, while unfit people might have a pulse of 80 beats per minute even when they’re sitting or resting. A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 70 beats per minute. 

Learn more about your pulse rate

You can’t open a jar

Losing the strength to do simple tasks such as opening a jar can indicate that you’ve lost strength overall and that means your bones are also affected. The good thing is that this kind of weakness can be worked on, with strength-training exercises, and will actually improve your bone strength and density over time. 

Your home muscle-strengthening programme

Your muscles ache

Cramps and muscle aches can be simply an aspect of an ageing body but if you feel you’re suffering excessively, it might be a good idea to check your vitamin D levels checked, as well as magnesium and potassium, too, as all three are involved in keeping bones strong and healthy. 

Why do your joints ache?

You’re always breaking nails

Your nails, just like your bones, rely on vitamins and minerals to stay strong and long-lasting. Vitamin C, for example, is essential for the production of collagen which is not only in your nails, it’s also an important component of your bones.

Don’t panic, however, if you suffer with rough-looking nails because you’re a hands-on type of person. People who do a lot of gardening or DIY, for example, are more likely to have broken or chipped fingernails and this isn’t necessarily cause for concern.

If, however, your nails chip or break very easily, it could be a sign of something else. 

What’s wrong with your nails?


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.