Encyclopedia

Osteoporosis

What does osteoporosis mean?

As we grow older our bones become stronger and healthier, by the time we are 20 we have 98% of our bone mass, by the time we are 30 our bones are at their full volume.

If you could see your bones when you are 30, you would notice that they have a hard outer shell on the outside and what looks like a comb on the inside.< /em>

About 80% of the bone mass is actually the strong and dense outer shell of the bones called cortical bone, the remaining inner part about 20%, which looks like a honeycomb is called trabecular bone, which first starts to lose its density with age .

Osteoporosis literally means porous bones, it means that someone diagnosed with the disease has lost so much bone density that the bones become very brittle and the simplest stress can cause fractures .

Osteoporosis is also called the “silent disease” because there are almost no symptoms to “warn” you that you are losing bone density.

Also, if you don’t know you’re at risk for osteoporosis and you’ve already lost bone density, then one morning when you open the garage door you may find that you just broke your wrist as a result of this ordinary motion.

Although there are many ways to keep your bones healthy, those at risk for osteoporosis should be aware of the factors that can contribute to bone loss.

Causes of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes loss of bone density and increases the risk of fractures. The causes of osteoporosis are many and varied, including both genetic factors and lifestyle.

One of the main factors that contribute to the development of osteoporosis is age. With age, bone density naturally decreases, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.

Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis, especially after menopause when estrogen levels drop sharply. Estrogen is a hormone that helps maintain bone density.

Genetic factors also play a role in the development of osteoporosis. People whose parents or close relatives have or have had osteoporosis have a greater risk of developing the disease.

Lifestyle can contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D, two key nutrients for bone health, can increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Also, people who lead a sedentary lifestyle or do not exercise regularly are more at risk, as physical activity is important for maintaining bone density.

Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Smoking can reduce bone density, while alcohol can prevent the body from absorbing and using calcium and vitamin D effectively.

Osteoporosis Tips

Alcohol intake – small amounts of alcohol, around 3 to 6 drinks a week, will actually help your body retain calcium and this will protect you from osteoporosis by increasing estrogen levels . But large amounts of alcohol weaken your bones and harm your whole body.

On the other hand, high levels of estrogen and moderate amounts of alcohol increase the risk of breast cancer. So if you drink at all, don’t overdo it.

Quit smoking, as women who smoke enter menopause earlier than non-smokers and this can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Smoking can also accelerate bone loss.

Estrogen replacement therapy. After a woman enters menopause, estrogen therapy can prevent bone loss.

The amount of estrogen needed to prevent bone loss as well as relieve menopausal symptoms is small, in fact less than the amount contained in regular birth control pills.

However, there are risks of some side effects. So be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of estrogen replacement therapy with your doctor.

Being overweight – this is one of the few benefits of being overweight, but it is not known exactly why, some doctors say it is due to the higher amount of estrogen that is produced in overweight women weight than those of normal weight.

However, given the negative effects on overall health that are associated with excess weight such as high blood pressure and diabetes, it is not advisable to maintain excess weight to prevent osteoporosis.

Pregnancy – the risk of developing osteoporosis increases if you have never been pregnant.

However, it has been proven beyond doubt that regular physical activity is extremely important for maintaining bone health throughout life.

Sports and physical activity are an easy, cheap and simple way to ensure the absorption of calcium that you take in with food into your bones and thus you will keep your bones healthy and strong into old age.

Osteoporosis – how to protect yourself

Osteoporosis is a serious disease that can have a significant impact on people’s quality of life.

Although it is widespread, especially among older people, many of the risk factors can be controlled through lifestyle changes.

A healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, regular physical activity and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can help prevent bone loss and the development of osteoporosis.

It is important to see a doctor if you think you are at risk, as early diagnosis and treatment can be key to preventing fractures.

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