Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a natural companion of 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 less durable and more fragile. As a result, they can break even under low load. An elderly person can get a fracture, even turning badly in bed, when picking up bags from the floor or falling on the street.

Theoretical there is no restriction on which bone of the body may be broken. But according to statistics, most often fractures occur in the distal forearm, which is from the elbow to the hand. Also at high risk is the proximal femur. Often broken lumbar and thoracic vertebrae, and this is not associated with any specific trauma.

The fact is that over time, the density of bone tissue decreases, as well as its strength. In this case, the vertebrae begin to sag while lowering in height. The back becomes round and stooped, this form even has received the name “a hump of the elderly lady”.

Osteoporosis does not threaten men, it’s a woman’s disease.

To think so is wrong, because men 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. Such an increased risk in them is associated with a general lower bone mass and that the size of the bones is less than that of the male. It is worth noting and the fact that in connection with menopause and a longer life span, the bone mass of women decreases much faster.

Children can not get osteoporosis.

This disease can occur even in toddlers. Contributes to the background of diabetes mellitus or chronic diseases of some internal organs: kidney, thyroid, lungs, gastrointestinal tract. Osteoporosis can also be predetermined genetically, for example, imperfect osteogenesis.

Osteoporosis becomes known only when a fracture occurs.

Although this is actually the case, osteoporosis should not be considered a silent disease. After all, it does not develop immediately, but for years, gradually. A person does not feel anything until the very first break occurs. However, it is only necessary to look closer to yourself, this will make it possible to detect the first signs of osteoporosis. The disease is characterized by a specific type of pain in the thoracic and lumbar spine. Unpleasant sensations are observed in the vertical position of the body. With it, the fragile vertebra begins to sag under the weight. And if you just sit down or lie down, unloading the spine, then the pain is weakened or completely passes. Sometimes patients turn to doctors complaining that now they can not do homework as before, as the back hurts. Now women feel the need to lie down for a while. Such symptoms are direct signs of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis and osteochondrosis are often confused, in view of the similarity of the character of the pain. However, with osteochondrosis, the pain in lying position not only does not pass, but on the contrary, it 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. You can detect the disease with a simple X-ray of the spine. However, such an accessible method will show deviations only when the bones lose about 20% of their mass. Another option for detecting osteoporosis is a densitometer examination that will determine the density of bones.

It is impossible to hide from osteoporosis, it is a hereditary disease.

If one of your relatives has had osteoporosis, then your risk of getting sick is higher than that of others. But this does not mean that the disease can not be prevented or, most importantly, to avoid the negative consequences – fractures.There are some risk factors for the development of osteoporosis, which, unfortunately, a person can not prevent. These include, in addition to heredity, the female sex, age over 65, early menopause, long-term real estate. It is curious that in Europeans, the disease occurs 2.5 times more often than in African women. But besides this there are factors that directly depend on the lifestyle of a person. If you change them, then if you do not avoid at all osteoporosis, then it is noticeable to postpone it. First of all, it’s a physical load. They help to strengthen metabolic processes in bone tissues, which increases the bone mineral density. You should also follow the body weight. Overly fragile women have weak bones and muscles, which increases the risk of fractures. It should be remembered that smoking and alcohol abuse also have a negative effect on 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. The cause of many osteoporotic fractures is the fall. It is worth to be attentive to those persons who have a penchant for them. It can manifest itself in the form of dizziness, shaky gait, general weakness.

To reduce the risk of osteoporosis, one should drink more tea.

It’s unclear where this information came from. Yes, tea itself is quite useful, 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 salt abuse, can become harmful not only for bones, but for the entire cardiovascular system.

Almost all of Russia’s population is at risk for 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 absorbed by the body when there is sufficient vitamin D in the body and it is mainly synthesized in the skin under the influence of sunlight. In most of Russia from October to May, the sun shines very little. Another possibility of obtaining vitamin D in the body is food. It is found in fatty fish, which is also not so much in our country. That is why for all people, starting from two years, it is necessary to take vitamin D supplementally in the autumn-winter period. To children, up to two years, this vitamin is generally prescribed by pediatricians. Necessary amount of a substance must, of course, be discussed with a doctor in advance.

Osteoporosis is not a socially significant disease.

From the legal point of view, the Russian government does not really include osteoporosis to socially significant diseases. However, in fact, it is worth talking about the important social significance of this disease. After all, with it, the bones become fragile and easily break. The most dangerous consequence may be a fracture of the neck of the hip. He already requires surgical intervention. 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 stagnant phenomena accompanying immobility. They can become stagnant pneumonia, sepsis due to pressure sores, myocardial infarction. Someone’s death may occur in general during the week, and someone else struggles for several years. Such an outcome can and should be prevented. For this, osteoporosis should be detected in a timely manner, avoiding fractures. If the fall with them did happen, then surgical treatment is necessary. Although even today such a measure is real, but for better effectiveness, the Russian Government should recognize osteoporosis as an equally important disease, for example, diseases of the cardiovascular system.

You can reduce the risk of osteoporosis after menopause by taking estrogens.

This is true, however, so that the favorable effects of taking such remedies remain, one should take them for many years, perhaps even up to 80 years. Studies have indeed confirmed that if a woman after the menopause starts taking hormones, then they do get less fractures afterward. However, all the advantages evaporate, it is only necessary to stop taking such drugs. However, should all women adhere to estrogen therapy if it successfully fights against osteoporosis? It should be borne in mind that with the termination of the course, a rapid loss of bone tissue occurs, in addition, 10-year replacement therapy significantly increases the risk of breast cancer. There is a different opinion, according to which the course of hormone intake for a woman should not begin immediately after the onset of menopause, but after several years, continuing throughout life. Estrogens can increase bone density in the elderly by 5-10%, thereby reducing by one third the risk of fractures. Thus, in addition to taking estrogen for life, you can recommend them under the condition of adverse heredity and by indications, as well as from the age of 70 or fractures.

Osteoporosis develops in those people who receive little calcium from their food.

You can try to eat calcium in excessive amounts, but this will only lead to a violation of salt metabolism and to stones in the kidneys. The fact is that osteoporosis is a consequence of poor assimilation of calcium by bones, however it does not matter that it can enter the body excessively. If the body is working properly, then the necessary balance is always observed. Osteoblast building cells deliver as much calcium into the bone as the special cells from the osteoclast removed it from there. With osteoporosis this balance is violated. Or the destructive cells begin to work too actively, or the builders do not work well. Such disruptions are usually caused by some factors, usually even by a combination of several.

To avoid osteoporosis, you need to move less.

It may seem strange, but it is the sedentary lifestyle that is one of the main causes of osteoporosis. It turns out that if any healthy person is left for a year in complete immobility, then the skeleton will lose its strength halfway. It is the movement that is the factor that determines the strength of the bones. And in the lack of physical activity in our time and leads to the spread of this disease.

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