Osteoporosis is a natural companion to old age. Osteoporosis is primarily a disease, not an attribute of old age. Diseases are not natural. Moreover, not all elderly people have osteoporosis.
This disease is systemic for the skeleton; in its course, the bones become weaker and more fragile. As a result, they can break even under light load. An elderly person can get a fracture, even when unsuccessfully turning in bed, lifting a bag from the floor, or falling on the street.
In theory, there is no limit to which body bone can be broken. But according to statistics, most often fractures occur in the distal forearm, which is located from the elbow to the hand. The proximal femur is also at high risk. Lumbar and thoracic vertebrae often break, and this is not associated with any specific injuries.
The fact is that over time, bone density decreases, as does its strength. In this case, the vertebrae begin to sag, decreasing in height. The back becomes round and stooped, this shape is even called the "old lady's hump".
Osteoporosis does not threaten men, it is a female disease. To think so is a mistake, because men also suffer from osteoporosis. Statistics say that after 70 years, every third man and every second woman suffers from this disease. Thus, the disease simply develops in women more often. This increased risk in them is due to the overall lower bone mass and the fact that the bone size is smaller than that of men. It is worth noting the fact that due to menopause and longer life expectancy, the bone mass of women decreases much faster.
Children cannot get osteoporosis. This disease can even occur in babies. Contributes to the background of diabetes mellitus or chronic diseases of some internal organs: kidneys, thyroid gland, lungs, gastrointestinal tract. Osteoporosis can also be genetically determined, such as osteogenesis imperfecta.
Osteoporosis is only known when a fracture occurs. While this is actually what happens, osteoporosis should not be considered a silent disease. After all, it does not develop immediately, but over the years, gradually. A person does not feel anything until that very first fracture occurs. However, one has only to take a closer look at yourself, this will make it possible to detect the first signs of osteoporosis. The disease is characterized by a certain type of pain in the thoracic and lumbar spine. Unpleasant sensations are observed in the upright position of the body. With it, the fragile vertebra begins to bend under the weight. And one has only to sit down or lie down, thereby relieving the spine, then the pain weakens or completely disappears. Sometimes patients turn to doctors with complaints that now they cannot do their homework as before, as their back hurts. Now women feel the need to lie down for a while. These symptoms are direct signs of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis and osteochondrosis are often confused due to the similarity of the nature of the pain. However, with osteochondrosis, the pain in the supine position not only does not go away, but, on the contrary, increases. If you notice the first signs of osteoporosis, you should immediately consult a doctor. After all, it is easier to prevent a possible fracture than to treat it for a long time. The disease can be detected using a simple x-ray of the spine. However, such an available method will show deviations only when the bones have lost about 20% of their mass. Another option for detecting osteoporosis is with a densitometer, which will determine bone density.
You cannot hide from osteoporosis, it is a hereditary disease. If one of your relatives had osteoporosis, then you have a higher risk of getting sick than others. But this does not mean that the disease cannot be prevented or, most importantly, that negative consequences - fractures - cannot be avoided. There are some risk factors for developing osteoporosis that a person, unfortunately, cannot prevent. These include, in addition to heredity, female sex, age over 65, early menopause, long-term real estate. It is curious that the disease occurs in Caucasians 2.5 times more often than in women of the African race. But besides this, there are factors that directly depend on the person's lifestyle. If you change them, then you can, if not completely avoid osteoporosis, then noticeably delay it. First of all, it is physical activity. They help enhance metabolic processes in bone tissue, which increases bone mineral density. You should also monitor your body weight. Overly fragile women have weak bones and muscles, which increases the risk of fractures. It must be remembered that smoking and alcohol abuse also negatively affect bone health. Osteoporosis can also be caused by low intake of vitamin D and calcium. The lack of these substances is fraught with disorders in bone metabolism. Falls are the cause of many osteoporotic fractures. It is worth being attentive to those persons who have a penchant for them. This can manifest itself in the form of dizziness, unsteady gait, general weakness.
Drink plenty of tea to reduce your risk of osteoporosis. It is unclear where this information came from. Yes, tea itself is quite healthy, but it has nothing to do with osteoporosis. But there is evidence that the risk of osteoporosis increases with excessive consumption of meat, salt or coffee. By the way, consumption of more than three cups of coffee a day, as well as abuse of salt, can become harmful not only for bones, but also for the entire cardiovascular system.
Almost the entire population of Russia is at risk of developing osteoporosis. But this statement is true. The fact is that the strength of bones is determined by the presence of calcium in them. This element can be assimilated by the body if there is sufficient vitamin D in the body. And it is mainly synthesized in the skin under the influence of sunlight. In the greater territory of Russia, from October to May, the sun shines very little. Another way of getting vitamin D into the body is through food. It is found in fatty fish, which are also not abundant in our country. That is why for all people, starting from the age of two, vitamin D should be additionally taken in the autumn-winter period. For children under two years of age, this vitamin is generally prescribed by pediatricians. The required amount of the substance must, of course, be discussed with the attending physician.
Osteoporosis is not a socially significant disease. From a legal point of view, the Russian government does not yet really classify osteoporosis as a socially significant disease. However, in fact, it is worth talking about the important social significance of this disease. After all, with it, bones become fragile and break easily. In this case, the most dangerous consequence can be a hip fracture. He already requires surgery. People in old age with this problem simply stop walking. According to statistics, during the first half of the year, half of them die due to stagnation that accompanies immobility. They can be stagnant pneumonia, sepsis due to pressure sores, myocardial infarction. For some, death may occur within a week, while others are struggling for several years. This outcome can and should be prevented. For this, osteoporosis must be detected in a timely manner, avoiding fractures. If the fall did happen to them, then surgical treatment is necessary. Although even today such a measure is real, but for better efficiency, the Russian Government should recognize osteoporosis as an equally important disease than, for example, diseases of the cardiovascular system.
You can reduce the risk of osteoporosis after menopause by taking estrogens. This is true, however, in order for the beneficial effects from taking such funds to remain, they should be taken for many years, perhaps even up to 80 years. Research has indeed confirmed that if women after menopause start taking hormones, then they actually get fewer fractures. However, all the benefits evaporate if you stop taking such funds. However, should all women go for estrogen therapy if it is successfully fighting osteoporosis? It should be borne in mind that with the termination of the course, there is a rapid loss of bone tissue, in addition, 10-year replacement therapy significantly increases the risk of breast cancer. There is a different opinion, according to which a woman should start taking hormones not immediately after the onset of menopause, but several years later, continuing throughout her life. Estrogens can increase bone density in older adults by 5-10%, thereby reducing the risk of fractures by a third. Thus, in addition to taking estrogens for life, they can be recommended under the condition of unfavorable heredity and according to indications, as well as from 70 years of age or with fractures.
Osteoporosis develops in those people who get little calcium from food. You can try to eat too much calcium, but this will only lead to impaired salt metabolism and kidney stones. The fact is that osteoporosis is a consequence of poor absorption of calcium by bones, and it does not matter that it can enter the body in excess. If the body is working properly, then the right balance is always observed. The building cells of osteoblasts deliver the same amount of calcium to the bones as special osteoclast cells removed it from there. In osteoporosis, this balance is disturbed. Either destructive cells start to work too actively, or builders do not work well. Such failures are usually caused by several factors, usually even a combination of several.
To avoid osteoporosis, you need to move less. It may seem strange, but it is precisely a sedentary lifestyle that is one of the main causes of osteoporosis. It turns out that if any healthy person is left completely immobile for a year, the skeleton will lose half its strength. It is movement that determines the strength of the bones. And the lack of physical activity in our time and leads to the spread of this disease.