Osteoporosis (OD) is a systemic disease of the skeleton, which is characterized by a decreased bone strength and an increased risk of fracture. In other words, it is a pathology in which the pathological fragility of bones develops. Fractures with osteoporosis appear occur even on level ground. For example, if you fall from the height of your own growth or even without injury.
A fairly large number of people have a reduced bone mass – osteopenia and, accordingly, an increased risk of OD development.
Signs of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is sometimes called a silent epidemic, because it has no clinical manifestations. The first symptom is a fracture with minimal trauma, especially if it occurs in women over the age of 50.
The fracture of the radius bone is most characteristic for osteoporosis (when a person falls, he automatically expands the arm forward as a support), a fracture of the neck of the thigh. The latter is the most dangerous. Usually it occurs in very old people and requires serious treatment. The compression fracture of the vertebrae is also connected with osteoporosis, when against the background of increased fragility of the bone there is compression, a decrease in the height of the vertebral bodies. This process leads to bone deformities, loss of growth, the emergence of the so-called “widow’s hump”, back pain. If you do not start treatment in time, the disease will progress. My Canadian Pharmacy reminds: prevention of osteoporosis is very important, as in this case the occurrence of dangerous fractures in most people can be prevented.
Prevention of osteoporosis: who needs it?
There are two types of measures for OP prevention: primary and secondary.
- Primary prevention is aimed at the formation of a healthy skeleton in childhood and adolescence. Our skeleton is being formed up to 25 years. Calcium, accumulated during the pubertal period, will form the basis of the skeleton in adulthood. Adequate intake of calcium, physical activity, exercise, outdoor exercise is very important for children and adolescents.
- Secondary prevention is aimed at people of middle and old age. Its goal is to prevent excessive loss of bone mass during these periods of life.
The correct intake of calcium preparations
Calcium should be taken with food. During the meal, gastric juice is produced, which helps to absorb this macronutrient. You’d better take calcium preparations in fractions, 3 times a day and drink more. Avoid simultaneous intake of products containing high amounts of fiber and preparations containing iron. The main thing is to ensure the intake of calcium is regular, in accordance with the recommendations of the doctor. Only in this case a good clinical effect is possible.
Calcium is digested up to the age of 25, then washed away?
Indeed, calcium absorption decreases with age. This is a natural process. The child’s body is able to absorb, for example, 50% of calcium, while the body of an elderly person – only 10-20%. Therefore, it is important to replenish the reserves of vitamin D: if its level in the body is normal, calcium from dairy products will be absorbed well.
“Osteoporotic” type of appearance
Some ancient textbooks on medicine described a constitutional predisposition to osteoporosis. The term “osteoporosis type of appearance” was applied by experts to women of low height, thin-boned, graceful. Judging by some sources, these women were usually blond or red-haired. Such a portrait “told” a specialist that the lady, most likely, lacks bone mass.
Is course treatment necessary?
As a rule, the therapy lasts for several years, because the bone metabolism is slow. It takes at least 3 years for the bone to solidify properly.
Which doctor treats osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a multi-disciplinary disease, and the patient can consult various doctors: endocrinologist, rheumatologist, traumatologist or family doctor.
Osteoporosis risk factors
Development of OP is determined by the following factors:
- The period of menopause, when there is a deficiency of sex hormones in a woman;
- Way of life: low physical activity, malnutrition, various diseases, drug therapy;
- Hereditary predisposition – 50-80% of cases are hereditary;
- Age over 60 – an age-related disease;
- Early menopause in a woman, decreased function of the sexual glands (hypogonadism) in young men and women;
- Insufficient intake of calcium, vitamin D deficiency, decreased physical activity, or prolonged immobilization (immobility) for some reason;
- Long-term use of glucocorticoids and some other drugs;
- Smoking, alcohol abuse;
- Deficiency of body weight. OP is perhaps the only disease in which doctors tell their patients that it is bad for them to lose weight. Because with a decrease in body weight, the volume of many tissues decreases as well, including muscle and bone;
- The presence of diseases that cause secondary osteoporosis (for example, diabetes mellitus);
- Low mineral density of tissue, which is detected by densitometry.
4 Steps to Healthy Bones: My Canadian Pharmacy Advice
- Regular exercise. The health of bones depends on the volume of muscles, so training is important for a person at a certain age. The best loads are those that bring pleasure: for example, Scandinavian walking or simple walks in the fresh air. We also recommend exercises on simulators, weight training, aerobics, dancing. Doctors do not advise elderly people jumping and various inclinations, because the spine is twisted at the same time.
- Quitting bad habits. An interesting fact: in some European countries, a smoking woman in menopause is automatically prescribed treatment for osteoporosis. Nicotine has a negative effect on bone cells, inhibits their activity, disrupts calcium metabolism. The same happens in alcohol abuse.
- A diet rich in calcium. It should not necessarily include “pure” cottage cheese and milk. There are a lot of other foods rich in vitamin D and calcium, which should be included in the diet. Why calcium is needed for bone health? Because this is their main component: more than 98.9% of calcium in the human body is concentrated in the skeleton. Calcium is an inert mass by 60% – this is its basis. The decrease in the calcium content in the bones leads to the development of OP. Therefore, you need to consume enough of this macronutrient. The daily norm for children – 800 mg, for teenagers and pregnant women – 1200 mg, for people under the age of 60 – 1000 mg of calcium, over the age of 60 – 1200 mg.
- Elimination of vitamin D deficiency. This is an important factor in the health of bones, because calcium can not properly mineralize in the bone tissue without vitamin D. Basically, we get vitamin D through the skin due to ultraviolet, and only 20% – due to food. Often, the ultraviolet index is not enough to generate the necessary level of vitamin D. To make up for the deficiency of vitamins, you need to take the preparations containing this vitamin. Only a doctor doctor should decide who needs such drugs, but usually they are recommended in different periods of life, when the need for calcium is increased: adolescence, pregnancy, lactation, age over 60.