Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a decrease of bones strength due which bones become fragile and weak increasing the risk of fractures. Osteoporosis affects women, especially women after menopause. But this illness is not reserved for women only; it affects men as well.
The main cause of osteoporosis is the lack of calcium and vitamin D due to the increased activities of cells from which bones are composed. Some other diseases and the use of particular drugs can cause this illness. An unhealthy lifestyle that includes the excessive use of alcohol, nicotine, poor diet and the lack of physical activity can greatly increase the progress of osteoporosis.
It is very hard to notice any of the symptoms in the early stages of osteoporosis. Fractures caused by relatively minor injury appear in an advanced and debilitating stage of osteoporosis. Fractures related to osteoporosis most commonly occur in the wrists, spine, upper arm, forearm or spine.
Genetic factors, up to 80 %, have a major role in causing this illness. This means that if one or more family members have osteoporosis, it is more likely that you will suffer from this disease after age 60.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, anorexia can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
As mentioned above, genetic factors are one of the main factors that can determine osteoporosis. It is the reason why every person that has osteoporosis in his medical history must perform regular medical check-ups. Moreover, every person should know and understand how much damage can be caused by unhealthy lifestyle. By reducing the consumption of alcohol, animal fat, the number of cigarettes and increasing the time spent exercising; people could greatly decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
The diagnosis of osteoporosis is set by determining bone mineral density. It is advisable that all women under the age of 65 perform this examination regularly. People who suffer from chronic diseases that can increase the risk of osteoporosis should also perform this examination on a regular basis.
In addition to bone mineral density examination, detailed family health history and other risk factors such as smoking, the consumption of alcohol, overweight, eating disorder, malignancies, are very important in order to detect this disease at an early stage. The sooner osteoporosis is diagnosed; there are better chances for recovering or at least for keeping this disease under control.
Once the osteoporosis occurs, there are a lot of ways that can help cure this disease. Regular check-ups and consultations with doctors are necessary.
There is a wide array of medication that can be used for osteoporosis treatment. The regular use of medication can reduce the risk of fractures by boosting the strength of bones.
Since the lack of calcium increases the risk of osteoporosis, regular intake of calcium is also very important.
People also should avoid caffeine and food high in sodium such as table salt, bake powder, cured meat, dried beef, smoked salmon, etc.