Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone density decreases, eventually resulting in brittle bones. Osteoporosis leads to literally abnormal bone porosity. This skeletal disorder weakens the bones and results in frequent fractures. Bone is made up of protein, collagen and calcium, all the factors that give bone strength.
Bones that are affected by osteoporosis can have their fracture for much less injury than in healthy people, where a much larger injury would be required for a fracture.
The fracture may be in the form of a burst, or may contract as in compression of the fractures of the vertebral spines. Areas around the hips, ribs and wrists are common areas where bone fractures occur in people suffering from osteoporosis.
What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis can be present without any symptoms for decades. Moreover, some of the osteoporotic fractures can escape detection when they do not cause symptoms. Osteoporosis symptoms are usually associated with pain.
The location of the pain depends on the location of the fracture. Symptoms of osteoporosis in men are similar to those of osteoporosis in women. Over the years, recurrent spine fractures can lead to chronic lower back pain as well as loss of height and curving spine shape.
Osteoporosis has even been associated with an increased risk of death. Some 20% of women with a hip fracture die within the next year as an indirect consequence of the fracture.
Why is osteoporosis an important public health problem?
In the US, 44 million people have low bone density (10 million have osteoporosis and 34 million have osteopenia). This amounts to 55% of the US population aged 50 and older.
In total, around 200 million women are affected worldwide. About 20% of those who have experienced a hip fracture will die within the year after the fracture. What interests us most is what are the methods of preventing osteoporosis.
Methods to prevent osteoporosis include lifestyle changes, as well as medicines that can be used for prevention. Smoking cessation and alcoholism associated with osteoporosis are mentioned as prevention.
So it would be good to start exercising as much walking, jogging, climbing the stairs one three times a week along with 1,500 mg of calcium per day, which increases the bone density of the lower spine by 5%.
Then nutrition. A proper diet that includes enough calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D alone cannot prevent breakage and should always be taken in combination with calcium. As for calcium, it should be taken with food to maximize absorption. As you can see, it is up to us to do as much as possible to prevent the disease.
Author: S.Š. Photo: privilege / Shutterstock