According to statistics, half of women will suffer from osteoporosis by age 60. Of these, one woman in five will suffer a hip fracture, and half will never walk again. 30% of osteoporosis occurs in men, and half who suffer hip fractures will die within a year.
What is the best and safest treatment for osteoporosis? Keep reading the following information that will help you find the best option to either prevent or treat osteoporosis if you see yourself at high risk.
The meaning of osteoporosis is literally "porous bones." Osteoporosis is a generally "silent" disease, which makes it somewhat frightening, since it develops over many years, but goes unnoticed by the person since it does not cause obvious symptoms or discomfort (you cannot "feel" that your bones are weakening) until you finally experience a bone fracture.
What is osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is defined as a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, produces too little bone, or both. Osteoporosis is generally seen in women over the age of 50, although younger women and men can develop this condition as well.
It is estimated that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone at some point in their life due to osteoporosis.
Looking at the osteoporotic bones through the microscope, they have an abnormal tissue structure, forming as small holes or weakened areas in the bones, this condition can cause bone fractures (broken bones), bone pain and sometimes other complications, such as a hump. widow (an abnormal external curvature of the thoracic vertebrae of the upper back).
How Osteoporosis Compares to Osteopenia
Osteopenia is another condition associated with bone loss and weakened bones, but it is not as serious as osteoporosis. Here's how Harvard Medical School explains it:
If you put bone mineral density as a slope, normal would be at the top and osteoporosis at the bottom. Osteopenia, which affects about half of Americans over the age of 50, would fall somewhere in the middle.
Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Bone fractures, or the surgery required to repair broken bones, can also sometimes cause life-threatening complications and permanent disability in older adults.
Bone breaks, such as those caused by falls or slips, can also limit mobility and independence, leading to emotional problems such as hopelessness and depression. This condition should not be taken lightly, as weak and broken bones can be difficult to treat.
Most common symptoms of osteoporosis
· Osteoporotic bone breaks. This occurs most often in the spine, hip, or wrist bones. They also affect the knees, feet, and other parts of the body.
· Limited mobility and difficulty completing daily activities. Many older adults who break a bone will need help at home.
· Bone or bone pain, sometimes severe and permanent.
· Stooped posture, because the bones of the spine can weaken.
· Depression and feelings of isolation.
· Loss of height
· In the elderly, greater risk of death. About 20 percent of older adults who break a hip die within a year.
Causes of Osteoporosis and Risk Factors
The low bone mass is usually caused by a combination of factors, which generally include advanced age, nutritional deficiencies due to a diet deficient and unbalanced, existing health conditions and others. The main causes of osteoporosis include:
· Inactivity, or too little exercise that helps maintain bone mass.
· Low levels of vitamin D.
· Nutritional deficiencies, especially in vitamins and minerals that help build bones such as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin K.
· Hormonal changes and imbalances, especially low levels of estrogen in women, which is the cause of many symptoms of menopause. Low testosterone levels in men can also decrease bone mass. Women suffer from osteoporosis more than men in large part due to a decrease in hormones after menopause.
· History of medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders, lung disease, kidney or liver disease.
· Long-term use of certain medications, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), aromatase inhibitors, fertility drugs / hormonal drugs, anti-seizure drugs, and steroids (glucocorticoids or corticosteroids).
· High amounts of emotional stress and depression.
· Weight loss, or being on a diet that results in severe calorie restriction and malnutrition.
Being a woman and being over 70 years old are the two most important risk factors for osteoporosis. It is also possible to develop osteoporosis or suffer from low bone density due to a number of different health problems that can deplete the body of minerals and weaken bones over time.
Health Conditions That Are Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
2. Breast or prostate cancer.
3. Spinal cord injuries.
4. Hyperparathyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
5. Cushing's syndrome.
6. Chronic kidney disease
7. Inflammatory bowel disease
9. Parkinson's disease.
11. Hematological disorders of the blood.
12. Female athletic triad, irregular / absent periods, or premature menopause.
13. Organ transplantation.
14. AIDS / HIV.
15. Autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, multiple sclerosis, or ankylosing spondylitis.
16. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema.
17. Liver disease, including biliary cirrhosis.
18. Polio and post-polio syndrome.
Doctors usually diagnose patients with osteoporosis using a bone mineral density (BMD) test. To perform a BMD test, a special machine measures the amount of bone mineral that is present in certain areas of the bone, usually those located in the spine, in the hips, forearms, wrists, fingers, or heels.
A dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA scan) is a common way to perform a BMD test.
Other tests that can help confirm a diagnosis include taking a patient's medical history, performing a physical exam, urine and blood tests to diagnose underlying conditions, biochemical marker tests, X-rays, and vertebral fracture evaluations (VFA).
One of the reasons your doctor may suspect that you have lost bone mass is if your height has decreased, as this often occurs due to small fractures in the spine.
What is the prognosis for someone with osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis itself is not typically life threatening, so it is definitely possible to live many years with the disease if you take steps to slow its progression.
For example, exercising daily with weights can help you gradually increase bone mass and lower your risk of complications as you age.
How long does osteoporosis take to heal? Unless someone has a severe case of osteoporosis, low bone density can usually stabilize or even improve. This takes at least six to 12 weeks, and sometimes even longer.
But even with treatment (including medications), bone mass usually does not return to normal after someone has been diagnosed with osteoporosis. The goal is to prevent bones from becoming even weaker and to prevent falls, breaks, and accidents.
Conventional treatment for osteoporosis
The treatment of osteoporosis that is conventionally carried out, regularly makes use of medicines, modification in diet and exercise. There are different medications that are available that can be helpful to stop bone loss, however, you have to know that not all of those that exist are suitable for everyone.
The one your doctor recommends will depend on certain factors, such as gender, age, your health history (for example, if you have had an autoimmune disease or cancer) and wedges the underlying causes of bone loss.
Medicines used in osteoporosis
· Bisphosphonates (they are mostly suitable for both women and men).
· Range ligand inhibitors (for men and women).
· Bisphosphonates that are only for women, for example Boniva.
· Agonists of parathyroid hormone related proteins.
· Hormone replacement therapy (most are for women only). These may include estrogen agonists / antagonists (also called selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM)), or tissue-specific estrogen complex.
Natural treatment for osteoporosis
Non- drug treatments for osteoporosis that can be very effective include preventing vitamin D deficiency, treating hormonal imbalances, getting adequate (strength) exercise, and eating a special diet for osteoporosis.
Diet is of great importance in bone health because it will dictate whether you are getting enough essential vitamins, proteins, and minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese, which play a key role in bone formation.
It is best to diagnose and treat osteoporosis in its early manifestations, however, if it is not, there is still a lot you can do to control symptoms and thus help stop the disease from progressing.
Here are ways to support bone health and reduce symptoms like pain and loss of mobility.
1. Healthy diet to treat osteoporosis
Make it your priority to eat enough foods that give you essential nutrients: protein, magnesium, manganese, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin K.
About half of the structure of your bones is made of protein, so a low protein diet is not compatible with healing, as well as a high protein diet. However, it is important to balance protein intake with mineral intake.
The recommended daily amount of protein for adults is between 0.8 grams per kg of body weight per day, up to about 1.0 grams / kg / day.
Protein-rich foods include grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, eggs and poultry, fermented cheese and yogurt, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes.
2. Physical activity as a treatment for osteoporosis
Exercise is very beneficial for people with osteoporosis as it is an important aid to increase bone mass, helps to improve balance and flexibility, relieve stress, reduce inflammation and much more.
And to be safe, avoid all activities that require a lot of jumping, bending forward from the waist, or over-twisting your spine.
Walking and other weight-bearing activities are best for supporting bone strength. The types of exercises that are most recommended for people with low bone density include:
· Brisk walking (a treadmill may be the best way to prevent falls).
· Use an elliptical.
· Bodyweight exercises like squats and assisted push-ups.
· Tai Chi.
You can use a chair, a wall, bands, light weights, and tubes to help you. Even the mildest forms of exercise are helpful; Some studies have shown that adults who practice Tai Chi have a 47% decrease in falls and a 25% decrease in the rate of hip fracture of those who do not.
If you experience pain for more than a day or two after exercising, this is probably not the right type of exercise for you. Always talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you are not sure which type is the best.
To improve bone density, weight training exercises are essential. Strength training is recommended, ideally three times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. It is best to do “compound movements” that strengthen several parts of the body at the same time.
Examples of compound exercises include: squats, barbell and barbell weights, all types of push-ups, deadlifts, jumping rope, and push-ups. If you're new to strength training and this sounds intimidating, consider working with a personal trainer or attending group exercise classes for help.
It is also recommended to test vibration platforms. You stand on one of these platforms for approximately 5-20 minutes daily to help improve bone density naturally.
3. Helps prevent falls
The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that each year approximately one third of all people over 65 will fall, and many times this will result in a fracture / broken bone. Within the osteoporosis treatment that you can follow yourself, here are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling and injuring yourself when you are at home or outside:
· Use a walker or cane if necessary.
· Get up slowly from sitting or lying down.
· Keep your house well lit and use a flashlight when walking outside in the dark.
· Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes that help you balance (sneakers, low-heeled shoes with rubber soles, boots, flat shoes instead of heels, etc.)
· Use handrails when available to support you when climbing stairs.
· Be careful walking on slippery roads or sidewalks after it rains or snows.
· Avoid walking on wet, slippery and highly polished marble or tile.
· Clean up walking paths around your home, such as clearing your porch, deck, hallways, and driveway.