Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeleton leading to bone fractures that can occur even after minor trauma (these are called osteoporotic fractures). They most often affect the spine and bones of forearm and femoral neck, but may also occur in other locations. Excessive susceptibility of bone to damage in osteoporosis is due to a decrease in bone mineral density and the disturbance of its structure and quality.
The causes of secondary osteoporosis include hormonal disorders (hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, diabetes, premature menopause), diseases of the digestive system with malabsorption, chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases. For drugs conducive to the formation of secondary osteoporosis include glucocorticosteroids, antiepileptic drugs and heparin.
The development of osteoporosis is accelerated by the following factors:
Osteoporosis initially has no noticeable symptoms. They only appear when a bone fracture will occur, although even then it may be overlooked or downplayed. Most often there are vertebral fractures, half of which are hidden, gradually leading to a height depression, slouching, problems with movement and deterioration of mood, and even depression. As a consequence, it leads to disability and permanent dependence on help from other people.
Vertebral fractures often result in chronic back pain syndrome, which is usually treated as a “normal” symptom of old age and degenerative changes in spine. As a rule, the sick cannot recall the injury that resulted in the fracture of the vertebra (may be caused by slight movement, coughing, bending down, picking up an object).
Long bone fractures most often occur in the fall-winter season, which is associated with increased number of slips and falls. A fracture of the forearm bone as well as a fracture of the neck of the femur. These fractures are accompanied with a severe pain, limited mobility and distortion of surrounding tissues.
The goal of treating osteoporosis is to prevent bone fractures and the complications that result from them. The decisive factor in the effective fight against the disease is good cooperation between the patient and the doctor.
Being aware of the hidden course of the disease (until a bone breaks) should stand motivation for an early modification of lifestyle and regular use of drugs. Unfortunately, most drugs need to be taken for a long time (usually several years) and taken action consistently must be lead to the end of life.
It is an essential component of a healthy bone, which is why it is so important to provide it to the body inthe right amount. The daily requirement for calcium varies:
The best source of calcium is food, unfortunately in the Polish diet its supply is often even about half of the recommended value. The most of calcium is provided by milk and its products, other foods contain too little or are poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. For example, about 1,000 mg of calcium is contained in 3 glasses of milk, 2 glasses of milk, and 2 slices of yellow cheese, 3-4 kefirs, 1000 mg of white cheese, 3 yoghurts. Defatted products contain the same amount of calcium as full fat. Milk is recommended for people who cannot tolerate milk enriched with lactose or kefirs and yoghurts.
Many foods, such as breakfast cereals and fruit juices, are enriched with calcium. Food reducing calcium absorption includes spinach and other vegetables containing oxalic acid, cereal grains containing phytic acid such as wheat bran (consumed in large amounts), and possibly tea as well.