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Osteoporosis

Overview

The word "osteoporosis" means "porous bones". In osteoporosis bones become thinner and more fragile than they should be. The disease is common in people older than 60-70 years and for women in menopause is the main cause of frequent fractures in the elderly. For the diagnosis of osteoporosis is applied X-rays and bone densitometry.

Densitometry can be X-ray and ultrasound.

To date, the best method for this is X-ray densitometry, which reflects the content of hydroxyapatite per unit area of bone tissue and bone mineral density (BMD). This is completely painless and safe method. In addition to diagnosing osteoporosis, it allows you to determine:

- Place the lowest bone density, where a high probability it may happen a fracture,
- Estimate the probability of fractures in the future,
- To determine the mass loss in the bones,
- Monitor the effectiveness of drugs.

Widespread and ultrasound densitometry (SPL). It provides information on the mechanical properties of bone and the risk of fractures.

Causes of Osteoporosis

With age, there is a decrease in bone density, decrease their strength. This is the normal age-related changes. However, some people these changes occur earlier and are more intense. There are many risk factors for osteoporosis, the knowledge about them can help prevent the onset and slow the illness.

Risk factors that can not be changed:

- Female,
- Weak, thin bones of the skeleton,
- Age over 65 years,
- A hereditary factor.

Risk factors which can affect:

- The poor in calcium and vitamin D nutrition,
- The use of certain drugs such as corticosteroids and anticonvulsants,
- A sedentary lifestyle,
- Smoking,
- Excessive use of alcohol.

Symptoms of osteoporosis

Bone thinning begins without any symptoms. A person may be unaware that there had osteoporosis until they fall and break a leg or arm. Of course, the fractures occur in young age. Only in osteoporosis load required to fracture the bone is much weaker.

Osteoporosis can also manifest pain in the back and spine, a decrease in growth, hunched posture and spinal deformities.

Complications

- Frequent fractures (abnormal), which in some cases, long and poorly fused,
- External physical defects,
- Obstructed traffic.

What you can do?

Cure for osteoporosis is completely impossible, but you can learn to live with it and stop the progression of the disease. To do this you need:

- Walking, jogging, dancing, giving the necessary bones healthy stress and makes them stronger. Such exercises will strengthen muscles, improve coordination and balance.
- A healthy diet with an optimal calcium and vitamin D. It is best to have a balanced diet, built on the basis of the food pyramid. It is especially important to make sure that you get the necessary amount of calcium and vitamin D, both from foods and from supplements. If the diagnosis of osteoporosis, you already have, you should take 200 mg calcium and 400-800 IU vitamin D per day.
- See your doctor, check with your doctor about medications that slow the destruction of bones and strengthens them. There are a number of new drugs to treat osteoporosis that increase bone density and slow down its thinning.

What can a doctor?

To determine the extent of the destruction of bone and to exclude osteomalacia (demineralization of the bones due to lack of vitamin D, in children is a disease called rickets), your doctor may refer you to the X-ray, bone densitometry, a biopsy, urine and blood samples.

Also, your doctor may recommend a supplement (calcium, vitamins) and drugs:

- Aimed at the formation of bone (strontium, teriparatide)
- Antiresorptive drugs (bisphosphonates)
- Selective estrogen receptor modulators.

You may be referred to a physiotherapist for training exercise that strengthens bones.

Preventive measures

Begin to take care of your health as soon as possible. The bones become thinner all the time. Try to accustom themselves to a healthy lifestyle long before the start of age osteoporosis (including postmenopausal).

Calculate the amount of calcium in your diet or take supplements. A natural source of vitamin D formation stroll in the sun (vitamin D is produced in skin exposed to UV rays). If your diet lacks vitamin D or if you can not regularly visit the sun, take a food supplement of 400-800 IU of vitamin D. It is this amount is in most multivitamin complexes. Also, regular exercise can help you, especially walking, jogging and aerobics.

Quit smoking. Women who smoke decreased levels of estrogen, which causes reduction in bone density.

Do not abuse alcohol. We are often a lot of people who drink the bones become weaker and fracture more frequently they occur.