Osteoporosis: Symptoms and Treatment

Osteoporosis: Symptoms and Treatment

Osteoporosis, or an increase in the “porosity” of bones, is fraught with the risk of fractures. The most susceptible to this disease are postmenopausal women and elderly people. How to reduce the risk of fracture, to maintain a beautiful posture and strength of bones?

What is osteoporosis? 1

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a decrease in the mass and strength of bone tissue. A significant increase in the risk of fractures is especially dangerous for the elderly – a fracture of the neck of the hip leads to a number of complications that the body at this age is difficult to bear.

In women during the postmenopause, the lack of female hormones provokes changes in the bone system. Even without knowing what osteoporosis is, we observe its consequences every day: the characteristic hunches in elderly women is its bright manifestation. The increase in brittleness of bones leads not only to an increase in traumatism, but also to deformation of the spine, a decrease in growth. All this changes the posture and the figure of a woman.

Risk factors

It is not always possible to establish the exact causes of osteoporosis, since the disease manifests itself at the stage of highly developed symptoms. However, there are osteoporosis-provoking risk factors, which can be conditionally divided into mutable and unchangeable.

Factors that a person can not change include the following: 2

● Caucasian race;

● Female sex;

● Age over 65;

● Low bone mineral density (bone tissue loses calcium and minerals, becoming more porous and brittle, as seen by X-ray, tomography or ultrasound examination);

● Hypogonadism (insufficiency of the functions of the gonads, inadequate production of hormones), the onset of menopause before the age of 45, infertility;

● Family predisposition to osteoporosis.

The listed risk factors show that elderly women are at greatest risk, especially with a genetic predisposition to osteoporosis. Early menopause and the presence of concomitant diseases (thyrotoxicosis, type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.) may also be a provoking factor in bone loss. Not all diseases can be prevented, but it is necessary to take into account their availability, to restrain development and, if possible, not to allow the appearance of new ones.

Risk factors that can be affected: 3

● Excessive or insufficient body weight;

● Harmful habits (smoking and drinking alcohol);

● Deficiency of vitamin D and calcium;

● Sedentary lifestyle;

● Propensity to fall;

● Abuse of coffee.

Insufficient (body mass index less than 16) or excess (body mass index more than 25) weight makes a person more vulnerable to problems with the bone system. Weight control is an integral part of health care, especially in the elderly, when the metabolic rate slows down significantly. Bad habits, lack of movement and an unbalanced diet in the complex can become a source of many health problems, one of which will be osteoporosis.

Treatment of osteoporosis

Most often, the disease makes itself felt by a sudden fracture. Radiography confirms the increased fragility and porosity of bones, and then the doctor makes a diagnosis and prescribes treatment. For menopausal women, effective and physiological treatment is menopausal hormonal therapy, which helps prevent fractures. The intake of hormonal drugs stabilizes the hormonal status, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, improves the quality of life of a woman. When deciding how to treat osteoporosis in a patient of postmenopausal age, the expert takes into account weight, genetic predispositions, chronic diseases and the patient’s lifestyle. If the risk of osteoporosis for these indicators is high, then hormone replacement therapy is prescribed.1

Prevention of disease2

It is much better to warn than to treat osteoporosis. To maintain the strength of bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, do not forget about the simplest components: physical activity and the right diet.

Walking and aerobics, as well as physical exercises that co-ordinate. Aerobic exercise and walking increase the mineral density of bones, and the possession of your body helps to avoid falls and injuries.

Calcium in the diet, vitamin D. Calcium deficiency will be helped by calcium-containing foods and preparations, and vitamin D – walks in the sun.

Chronic diseases with age can progress, leading to new unpleasant symptoms. Take for the rule of timely examination of a doctor and monitor their health: the correction of lifestyle for the better, too, is the prevention of many diseases.

High quality of life is largely determined by the attitude of a person to available resources, including health. Cheerfulness, optimism, activity and ability to maintain a good mood, as well as control over the level of “female” hormones – the safest “medicine” for all cases, which allows to forget about what is osteoporosis.

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