With age, a person faces the problem of brittle bones. The cause of this phenomenon may be osteoporosis — a disease that can be compared to a time bomb. It imperceptibly affects people who have crossed the threshold of 60 years. According to statistics, almost every fifth man and every second woman suffer from osteoporosis worldwide. Due to osteoporosis, the entire human bone system becomes fragile and vulnerable. Hence there is a risk of various fractures.
Strong bones: Manageable and unmanageable causes of osteoporosis
According to doctors, the main insidiousness of the disease is its “quiet” course. This means that a person may not even suspect that he has been living with osteoporosis for several years, and that his bones are undergoing negative changes.
The fact is that there are two types of cells in the human body — these are:
- osteoclasts that destroy old bone tissue;
- osteoblasts that contribute to the creation of new bone tissue.
In a young body, these cells act smoothly, but as soon as a person crosses the age limit of 40 years, osteoclasts become more active. As a result, calcium is washed out of the body, and bones lose their strength and become like matches in their fragility. A fracture can be obtained out of the blue, for example, by simply coughing or stumbling. Bones do not heal well in old age and various complications may occur.
What contributes to the development of osteoporosis? Doctors divide the factors affecting the development of the disease into two groups:
These are factors that can be controlled. These include bad habits — smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages. Also taking glucocorticoid medications, sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, vitamin D and calcium deficiency;
These are factors that are difficult to change. These include genetic predisposition, early menopause in women, decreased testosterone levels in men, low bone mineral density, too low weight (below 56 kg), problematic kidneys, age 60+.
It is also worth noting that in women over the age of 50 and with a deficiency of the sex hormones estrogen that occurs during postmenopause, the risk of osteoporosis increases by 40%!
Doctors advise not to wait “until the cock pecks”, but to take preventive measures as early as possible to combat the disease that destroys human bones.
Attention to yourself: about the signs of a decrease in bone density
How to recognize the insidious disease? First, you should pay attention to your height. It is recommended to compare it with the growth that was in his younger years. If it has decreased by 2 cm or more, then the alarm should already be sounded.
Also obvious signs of osteoporosis are stooping or the so-called “widow’s hump”. This disease cannot be detected by pain symptoms, even with its pronounced course. The best way to diagnose osteoporosis is to see a doctor as soon as possible. Medical examination includes the main method of detecting the disease — the determination of bone mineral density, or BMD. It involves testing the bones of the lumbar region and in the neck of the femur for strength. The results obtained are signed in a large table in which there is a graph with the name “T-criterion”. If there are readings of T greater than (-1) in it, they are considered the norm. Signs of a decrease in bone density are values from T (-1) to T (-2.5). Doctors call this condition osteopenia. In the case when T is less than (-2.5), it means that a person has progressive osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is also diagnosed with:
- x – ray;
All these methods allow you to measure the density of the tissue of the heel bone, finger or in the forearm area. But, unlike the IPC, they are not as accurate.
About nutrition, exercise and vitamins
In the fight against osteoporosis, science has not yet come up with magic pills that will rid a person of this disease once and for all. Therefore, the best means remains the prevention of the disease. Comprehensive treatment, adjusted nutrition and constant work on your health will help in this.
Firstly, a person needs to make every effort to eliminate inflammatory processes and metabolic disorders. For example, diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or thyroid diseases weaken the strength of bones. It is worth taking up their treatment closely.
Secondly, it is necessary to make up for the deficiency of vitamin D and calcium. These are the “bricks” without which it is impossible to have strong bones. The daily intake of vitamin D and calcium for premenopausal women and men under 50 years of age is 400 IU and 1000 mg (1 g). At an older age — 800 IU and 1500 mg (1.5 g). Therefore, calcium-rich foods should be present in the diet every day:
- milk, yogurt, yogurt, cottage cheese;
- wheat and pea porridge;
- dill, parsley, spinach, basil, green onion;
- sesame, nuts, seeds;
- green bean;
- canned fish;
- cucumbers, radishes, etc.
To make up for vitamin D deficiency, it is recommended to make friends with the sun. Under the influence of its sunlight, the body synthesizes this important vitamin for humans. It is also found in the following products:
- cod liver;
- fish oil;
- quail eggs and in the yolk of chicken eggs.
In addition to nutrition, the doctor may prescribe special medications containing the desired element.
And, of course, physical activity is considered important in slowing down the processes of osteoporosis. It is recommended to take hour-long walks in the fresh air, do morning exercises, do feasible physical labor. Otherwise, the human body loses its strength — muscles grow old and weak, bones lose their strength. A physically active lifestyle strengthens the musculoskeletal system, which will protect against sudden falls.
Order — prevention of osteoporosis
In addition to physical education, walking in the fresh air and taking medications, compliance with safety measures is important in avoiding falls and fractures. If you have a diagnosis of osteoporosis, it is advisable to exclude jumping and sudden movements.
You also need to carefully inspect your home and yard, put things in order, remove objects that can interfere with movement and about which you can stumble and fall. In the bathroom, it is advisable to lay a rubber mat. Also, you should not risk going outside in bad weather. Compliance with simple safety rules is the prevention that will help to avoid health problems.