Osteoporosis weakens the body’s bone tissue and puts it at risk of fractures. Weak bones are easily crushed with a simple fall. It affects mostly elder people, especially women, but can also affect men, young people, and children.
Different methods and treatments can help strengthen bone tissue. Also, taking advantage of effective vitamins and minerals of foods or as a supplement helps a lot in preventing this disease.
What is osteoporosis?
The condition that the bones are weakened and as a result breaking may occur called Osteoporosis. The body is constantly reabsorbing and creating new bone tissue. To keep bones healthy, there must be a balance between the amount of old and new bone tissue. Some research shows that one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 suffer from bone fractures due to osteoporosis.
The most common injuries in people with this disease are:
• Wrist fracture
• Hip joint fracture
• Fractures of the bones of the spine (vertebrae)
However, fractures can also occur in other bones, such as the arm or pelvis.
This problem is often referred to as a silent disease because you do not recognize that your bones are weak until a bone is broken. The disease is usually not painful except when the bone is broken.
The following symptoms indicate a lack of bone density:
• Bone fractures during a simple daily activity that does not normally cause fractures.
• Fractures as a result of normal movements, such as bending over, lifting objects, or even coughing and sneezing.
• The upper spine is bent and causes your body to bend constantly.
Although bone fractures are often the first sign of the disease, some older people become bent. This happens when the bones of the spine can no longer support the person’s weight.
Causes of osteoporosis
The occurrence of this disease in old age is normal, but some people experience a decrease in bone density earlier than normal. This can increase the risk of bone fractures.
Women also experience a rapid decline in bone density in the first few years after menopause. Women are more prone to this disease than men, especially if menopause starts before the age of 45 or the ovaries are removed due to illness or surgery.
Many other factors can increase the risk of developing this disease, including:
• Taking high-dose steroid pills for more than 3 months.
• Other illnesses such as inflammatory problems, hormonal problems, or nutrient malabsorption problems.
• Family history of osteoporosis, especially pelvic fractures in parents.
• Long-term use of certain medications that can affect bone strength or hormone levels, such as the anti-estrogen pills that many women take after breast cancer.
• Having an eating disorder such as anorexia or overeating
• Low body mass index
• Not exercising regularly
• Drinking alcohol and smoking
Osteoporosis at different ages
osteoporosis can occur in people of any age, but aging in people of 70 years of age or older is one of the most common osteoporosis’s causes. Although the decline in bone density in women begins slowly, it accelerates almost during menopause. Decreased bone density during menopause is most common in women at the age of 50 to 70.
However, it can also affect men, young women, and children, most often due to a lack of vitamins and minerals in body. The number of fractures increases with age. Wrist fractures typically occur when people are approximately 50 to 59 years old.
Diagnosis and prevention ways
If doctors suspect the disease, they can examine and use devices to check for the necessary precautions so that the person does not suffer severe injuries when a bone is broken.
Your doctor may perform a bone density scan to measure your bone strength and density. This procedure is painless and takes about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the part of the body being scanned. With this method, your bone density is compared to that of a healthy young adult, and the severity of osteoporosis is measured.
Treatments of Osteoporosis are based on preventing or treating bone fractures and taking medication to strengthen them.
Depending on the bone’s weakness and the risk of fractures, your doctor may prescribe a bone-strengthening medication. Deciding on the need for treatment depends on the risk of bone fracture in the future. This will be done based on several factors such as age, gender, and bone density scan results.
The role of estrogen in osteoporosis
Estrogen, plays a key role in bone growth as well as in the formation of new bone tissue in adults.During bone growth, estrogen is needed for proper closure of epiphyseal growth plates in both men and women.
Estrogen deficiency can also lead to increased osteoclast formation and increased bone resorption. During menopause, estrogen deficiency causes loss of cell bones. Estrogen deficiency not only accelerates the reduction of bone density in postmenopausal women but also plays a role in reducing bone density in men. Estrogen deficiency can lead to excessive bone loss along with poor bone formation.
Osteoporosis and nutrition
For people with reduced bone density, nutrition, lifestyle modification, exercise, and the practice of preventing severe injuries, fractures can play a key role in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
In addition to having a healthy and nutritious diet containing vitamins and minerals such as calcium and vitamin D, one can help treat or prevent this disease by changing some improper habits. Here are some of them:
• Exercise regularly to keep your bones as strong as possible
• Take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
• Limit smoking, which can reduce new bone growth and estrogen levels in women.
• Limit alcohol drinking to build healthy bones
• Regular exercise, such as walking, because it strengthens bones and muscles.
• Exercise to increase your flexibility and balance, such as yoga, which can reduce the risk of fractures.
The role of micronutrients in osteoporosis treatment
Calcium is the most important mineral in bone, and having enough calcium as part of a balanced and healthy diet is important for maintaining healthy bones. For most adults, the recommended amount of calcium is 700 mg per day, which most people should be able to get from a varied diet with good sources of calcium. However, if you have osteoporosis, you may need more calcium. In such cases, doctors recommend patients to take calcium supplements.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. All adults should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily. On sunny days, you can get some of the vitamin D you need through sunlight, and as it is difficult to get enough vitamin D through food, everyone, especially pregnant and lactating women, should take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
Osteoporosis develops slowly over years and is often diagnosed only when there is a sudden bone fracture. It is one of the leading causes of fractures of the spine, hip, pelvis and wrist in the elderly and is usually caused by estrogen deficiency or lack of vitamins and minerals.
Therapies recommended by doctors help strengthen bone tissue and prevent the disease from progressing. In addition to therapeutic drugs, a healthy diet can be followed or supplements can be consumed if the nutrients needed to build bone are not sufficient.