What is osteoporosis? What are the Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment Methods?

Osteoporosis (osteoporosis), which is defined as the weakening and fragility of the bones as a result of the decrease in the mineral density in the bones, is seen in every 50 women after the age of 3.


Osteoporosis (osteoporosis), which is defined as the weakening and fragility of the bones as a result of the decrease in the mineral density in the bones, is seen in every 50 women after the age of 3. However, it is possible to avoid the negative effects of osteoporosis with nutrition, exercise and healthy living habits.

Biruni University Hospital Orthopedics and Traumatology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Tuluhan Yunus Emre gave information about the measures to be taken against osteoporosis and osteoporosis.

What is Osteoporosis (Bone Melting)?

Bone structuring occurs throughout life. The process of reconstruction of the bone continues until about 30 years old. At the age of thirty, the point where the bone structure and mass is the strongest is reached. Around the age of forty, bone mass starts to decrease gradually. After menopause, due to the decrease in estrogen (female hormone) level, women lose bone rapidly and osteoporosis begins. In the next 5-10 years, women lose close to a third of their bone mass, as bone destruction is faster than producing. Weaker bones with less mass can break even in a minor fall. The first sign of osteoporosis may be a broken bone from a fall. Fractures mostly occur in the hips, wrists or lumbar vertebrae. In addition, the body of people with osteoporosis shrinks and their height decreases, especially after menopause, due to the serious decrease in the body's bone mass, ie the amount of whole body bone. In addition, spinal fractures often result in height shortening and rounding of the shoulders.

Women are more likely to have osteoporosis than men because women's bones are 20 to 30 percent less than men's. In both sexes, with increasing age, bone loss increases and the risk of hip fracture increases.

What Are Osteoporosis Risk Factors?

The more bone (bone mass) you have when young, the less likely it is to have osteoporosis in old age. Osteoporosis disease risk factors include:

  • Eating less calcium-rich foods such as dairy products
  • Entering early menopause (before the age of 45)
  • Thin or small body build
  • Having a history of wrist, spine, or hip fracture
  • Low testosterone levels
  • To smoke
  • Drinking too much alcoholic beverage (more than 2 glasses a day)
  • Not exercising
  • Having osteoporosis in the family
  • Inflammatory joint disease (rheumatism)

The risk of developing osteoporosis is higher in inflammatory rheumatic disease (rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, lupus, etc.). These types of rheumatism cause the production of inflammatory substances that cause bone loss. Rheumatic diseases are more common in women.

Precautions Against Osteoporosis

Ways to prevent osteoporosis are building strong bone and preventing lifelong bone loss. The stronger the bones, the less likely that osteoporosis will occur. If there is osteoporosis in the family, that is, if there is a genetic risk of osteoporosis, osteoporosis can be prevented or osteoporosis can be slowed down with smart lifestyle options.

Increase Your Calcium Intake

Calcium intake affects not only bone density but also other functions of the body. For muscles to contract, heart beat, and blood to clot normally, your body must maintain a certain level of calcium in your blood. When calcium intake is insufficient to maintain these functions, the body draws calcium from the bones and releases it into the blood to keep the body blood levels normal. Calcium needs depend on gender, age, and osteoporosis risk. Most adults need 1000 to 1500 mg of calcium daily from food and / or calcium supplements. Most people get about half the daily need from their diet. Adequate calcium intake is especially important for a woman under 30. Because calcium can be easily absorbed and stored in bones at these ages. Teenagers, pregnant women and breastfeeding women need 1500 mg of calcium per day. As the age progresses, the body cannot absorb calcium from the intestines so easily and effectively and store it into the bones. In addition, getting enough vitamin D is important to prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin D is effective in calcium absorption. Sunlight, liver, fish oil, milk and dairy products increase vitamin D production.

 Strengthen your bones with regular exercise

Exercises that put weight on bones or increase the gravity on them (weight exercises) can help preserve bone mass. When you move your body against the force of gravity and do exercises that strengthen your muscles, bones respond stronger to this type of movement. Exercises that strengthen your bones and maintain your weight are aerobics, dance, skiing, tennis and walking. A reasonable goal is to exercise for 3 minutes 4-30 times a week. If you don't want to do it all at once, you can exercise for 10-15 minutes each time. A history of osteoporosis or fractures, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease, pain or pressure in the chest, neck, shoulder or arm when or after exercising, dizziness or severe breathing after exercise If you have health problems such as stenosis or diabetes, you can consult your physician about the appropriate exercise program.

Stay away from smoking

Smokers have a higher fracture risk than non-smokers. Menopause begins earlier in women who smoke, and smoking lowers women's estrogen levels. These two factors increase the risk of osteoporosis. Besides, smoking can negate the benefits of estrogen therapy.

Take precaution against falls

The possibility of falls and fractures increases with age. The reason for this increased possibility may be the loss of ability to move easily as the age progresses, decreased vision, dizziness caused by illness or drugs. Consult your doctor if you are taking any medication that could cause drowsiness. You can take the following measures to make your home a safer place.

  • Illuminate corridors, stairs and rooms well
  • Keep a flashlight by your bed and use it if you get up at night
  • Do not use unstable carpets, if you need to use it, be careful not to slip the bottom.
  • Use a non-slip polish on the floor
  • Keep electrical cables away from places of heavy use
  • Have handrails near the bathtub, toilet and shower
  • Make sure frequently used materials are easily accessible
  • Use a sturdy ladder to access items from the upper shelves
  • Do not choose high heels
  • Do not neglect eye health checks against vision problems

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