Osteoporosis, which is seen in women after menopause, is caused by low bone mass and deterioration of the microarchitecture of the bone tissue. Therefore, there is an increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture. Fracture is not required for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. Taking necessary preventive measures, early diagnosis of the disease and applying the right treatment play a critical role in osteoporosis. Bone fractures seen in the advanced stages of the disease can cause problems that may threaten the life of the patient, as well as create a serious burden on the social security system. Orthopedics and Traumatology Specialist Op. Dr. Serdar Alfidan gave information about the disease and prevention methods before “October 20 World Osteoporosis Day”.
1. The process of bone formation and destruction continues continuously
Bone tissue includes two different cycles called continuous restructuring and restructuring throughout human life. The structuring phase, characterized by bone tissue growth and growth, is a feature of childhood. The restructuring seen in adulthood is the removal of the mechanically inadequate bone and the creation of a new strong bone in its place. This cyclical process begins with bone destruction in adults, ends with its construction, and is a cycle that lasts for an average of 3-12 months. The speed of this cycle can be increased with parathyroid hormone (PTH), thyroxine, growth hormone and Vitamin D and decreased with calcitonin, estrogen and glucocorticoid hormones.
2. If preventive treatments are neglected, bone loss can reach 50%
After the age of 35, bone mass begins to decrease and this decrease continues until the ages of 85-90. The amount of bone lost during life is around 20-30% in men and 45-50% in women. Estrogen deficiency due to menopause is the most important factor causing bone loss in women. Estrogen reduction increases the bone resorption phase. It reduces the release of calcitonin, a bone-protecting hormone, and also impairs calcium metabolism. Preventive and supportive treatments are of great importance in women.
4. Those with early menopause are more at risk for osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can be diagnosed with clinical findings such as shortening in height, deformities and fractures in the spine, as well as complaints such as back and low back pain. In particular, white-skinned women over the age of 65, with a family history of osteoporosis, who have entered early menopause, and who lead an sedentary life are in the risk group. The diagnosis of osteoporosis is determined by bone mineral density measurement (DEXA). This method should be applied especially to women over the age of 65, postmenopausal women under the age of 65 but with risk factors, those who have had an early menopause, those who have had fractures caused by minor trauma, men over the age of 70 and individuals who use drugs that reduce bone density.
The treatment of osteoporosis should begin before the disease occurs!
The most important part of osteoporosis treatment is preventive measures that reduce the risk of osteoporosis. In this sense, people should take precautions without osteoporosis.
- In primary prevention, it is very important to gain regular and calcium-rich nutrition habits from childhood, to do regular sports and to establish a sunbathing culture. In advancing ages, smoking and alcohol should be avoided, proper menstruation and the regularity of reproductive functions should be ensured.
- Secondary prevention; early recognition of osteoporosis, providing appropriate treatment in patients with osteoporosis, and preventing fracture.
- On the other hand, in tertiary prevention, it is aimed for patients who develop fractures to overcome this situation with minimum damage, to prevent complications and to increase their quality of life.
Don’t forget these 6 measures against osteoporosis!
- Ensure adequate calcium intake in all age groups. Experts recommend calcium intake of 1000-1200 mg per day from the age of 20s. This equates to 5 glasses of milk or milk group per day.
- Ensure adequate vitamin D intake. For this, half an hour of sunbathing on a day when the arms and legs are exposed is sufficient, but vitamin D support may be needed, especially in winter months and for women.
- Do not neglect regular sports and physical activity for healthy bone development.
- Avoid alcohol and cigarette use
- Take precautions to reduce the risk of falling in living spaces for the elderly.
- Completely use appropriate bone-reducing drug treatments and calcium – Vitamin D supplements given by the doctor after the DEXA evaluation.