Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone system, which can be due to bone loss, vitamin D deficiency or genetic factors. This happens when the bones undergo wear on their internal microstructure, reducing their density and support capacity. Read this article for everything you should know about osteoporosis.
When osteoporosis occurs, the risk of bone fractures increases and inflammatory reactions and severe pain occur.
Although osteoporosis is a common condition in the elderly, some people may suffer from it early due to injuries or habits that aggravate the bones.
The most disturbing fact is that many still do not know how serious it can be and due to lack of symptoms, they are unaware of their condition.
Because of this , it is important to know how osteoporosis develops. If you have any of the risk factors listed below, you should consult your doctor.
1. Risk factors
Weakness of bones usually occurs due to low calcium and D absorption, especially when individuals begin to reach a certain age.
- Lack of these nutrients reduces bone density and can cause fractures and irreversible damage associated with other injuries or diseases.
- This situation can occur due to genetic factors, although it is also associated with the hormonal changes that afflict us during adulthood.
- Excessive consumption of tobacco and alcohol also affects the development of osteoporosis.
- The decrease in estrogen levels during and after menopause is another related cause.
- You are more likely to develop this disease if you suffer from anorexia or bulimia.
2. Symptoms and other things you need to know about osteoporosis
Unfortunately, this disease is what is known as a “silent enemy” – it does not manifest itself with obvious symptoms until it becomes a more serious problem.
- Often, retaliation only occurs when a person has a fracture, as one typically learns here that one is suffering from the disease.
- This injury can occur without significant trauma or injuries having occurred.
- It is possible to suspect that one has begun to develop osteoporosis when a person loses about 6-7 inches or more in height.
- Some people develop what is known as the “Widow’s Hump” , which is a condition characterized by a hump on one’s back or generally severely impaired posture.
To detect the disease, one must undergo a medical examination called BMD, which consists of measurements of one’s bone mineral density.
- It is a low-radiation X-ray that does not take much time to perform, nor does it cause pain.
- Tests on the spine and hips may indicate a fracture.
- Typically, X-rays of other bones are not so normal, as they often can not tell as accurately whether the given condition exists.
Although there are many factors that can lead to this development, the continued practice of healthy habits is crucial to minimizing the risks.
- Thus, it is important to ensure optimal absorption of calcium and vitamin D by including foods that contain these vitamins in your diet.
- The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends consuming 1000 mg of calcium per day for adults and 1200 mg daily for women over 50 years and men over 70 years.
- You should limit your consumption of sodium and saturated fat as it prevents calcium absorption.
- It is important to increase the absorption of magnesium as it also helps maintain bone density.
- Daily exercise is very beneficial as it helps you to strengthen the bones and improve your coordination and balance.
5. Medication to stop or reverse the problem
Currently, there are drugs to combat bone density loss that help you avoid serious problems such as fractures.
- Among these are bisphosphonates, which prevent bone loss by inactivating cells known as osteoclasts, which absorb bone tissue.
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements are also recommended, especially when food absorption is difficult.
- Estrogen treatments help prevent and fight the disease in the case of menopausal women.
6. Side effects of treatment
Although medications to treat this disease can be effective, it is important to know that in most cases, continued use of them could cause side effects.
Among the side effects are:
- Joints and muscle pain
- Esophageal damage
- Arrhythmias and palpitations
On the other hand, we must mention that although osteoporosis can be effectively treated, the above substances have a “deadline” to take effect. This means that after approx. 3 years, it is necessary to analyze how much these drugs have helped and what negative effects they may have had.
In some cases , it is necessary to stop the consumption of medication for a while, since continued use can become dangerous.
This article was about what you need to know about osteoporosis. We hope you got something out of it.