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What is Osteoporosis ?

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease in which there is a decrease in bone mass density. Thus, the bones become more porous, the number and size of the cavities or cells that exist inside it increases, they are more fragile, the bumps resist worse and break more easily.

 

Causes of osteoporosis

Inside the bone, many metabolic changes occur throughout life, alternating phases of destruction and bone formation. These phases are regulated by different hormones, physical activity, diet, toxic habits and vitamin D, among other factors.

Under normal conditions, a person reaches a maximum amount of bone mass at 30-35 years (“peak bone mass”). From that moment on, there is a natural loss of bone mass.

Women have osteoporosis more frequently for several reasons: their bone mass peak is usually lower than that of men and with menopause bone loss (postmenopausal osteoporosis) accelerates.

There are many other causes of osteoporosis: alcoholism, drugs (glucocorticoids, the hormonal treatment to fight breast and prostate cancer…), rheumatic, endocrine, hepatic inflammatory diseases, kidney failure, among others.

 

 

Symptoms of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is called a silent epidemic because it does not show symptoms until bone loss is so important that fractures appear. The most frequent fractures are vertebral, hip and wrist fractures (Colles fracture or distal radius). The hip fracture is especially important since it is a serious event because it requires surgery, hospitalization and a loss of quality of life for the patient even for a short period of time.

 

Prevalence

This disease mainly affects women after menopause. However, it can also do so before or affect men, adolescents and even children. It is estimated that this disease is the cause of about 25,000 fractures each year. Approximately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over 50 will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their life.

 

Diagnosis

Although it is a silent disease, rheumatologists now have a wide range of tools for early diagnosis and thus adapt the treatment, either to prevent bone loss or to fight osteoporosis. Bone densitometry is the best technique that exists to measure bone mass.

There are life habits that can help improve bone quality such as adequate calcium intake, physical exercise and no smoking. The specific amount of calcium varies with age, but many adults will need 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day. This intake can be made with natural foods rich in calcium (especially milk and its derivatives). Or as supplements in the form of medications (calcium salts). In the latter case, there should be control of your doctor about the amount and the administration schedule.

Similarly, vitamin D is a fundamental substance for bone. Your daily needs are achieved primarily by the formation of it on the skin when it receives the effect of solar irradiation.

 

Treatment

The goal of osteoporosis treatment is to reduce the number of fragility fractures.

As a general measure, it is important to maintain healthy lifestyle habits. For instance, a balanced diet rich in calcium, quitting tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. It is important to exercise daily with control to prevent falls. In addition, some people may require calcium and vitamin D supplements.

 

At the London Spine Unit, we have some of the best specialists to diagnose and treat osteoporosis. Book an appointment to get a checkup.

 

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease in which there is a decrease in bone mass density. Thus, the bones become more porous, the number and size of the cavities or cells that exist inside it increases, they are more fragile, the bumps resist worse and break more easily.

 

What are the causes of osteoporosis?

Women have osteoporosis more frequently for several reasons: their bone mass peak is usually lower than that of men and with menopause bone loss (postmenopausal osteoporosis) accelerates. There are many other causes of osteoporosis: alcoholism, drugs (glucocorticoids, the hormonal treatment to fight breast and prostate cancer...), rheumatic, endocrine, hepatic inflammatory diseases, kidney failure, among others.

 

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is called a silent epidemic because it does not show symptoms until bone loss is so important that fractures appear. The most frequent fractures are vertebral, hip and wrist fractures (Colles fracture or distal radius). The hip fracture is especially important since it is a serious event because it requires surgery, hospitalization and a loss of quality of life for the patient even for a short period of time.

 

What is the prevalence of osteoporosis?

This disease mainly affects women after menopause, although it can also do so before or affect men, adolescents and even children. It is estimated that this disease is the cause of about 25,000 fractures each year. Approximately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over 50 will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their life.

 

Diagnosis of osteoporosis

Although it is a silent disease, rheumatologists now have a wide range of tools for early diagnosis and thus adapt the treatment, either to prevent bone loss or to fight osteoporosis. Bone densitometry is the best technique that exists to measure bone mass.

 

Treatment

As a general measure, it is recommended to maintain healthy lifestyle habits. For instance, a balanced diet rich in calcium, quitting tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. It is important to exercise daily with control to prevent falls. In addition, some people may require calcium and vitamin D supplements.

 

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