Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disorder, or a decrease in bone strength, which increases the risk of fracture.
It most commonly occurs in women in menopause, but in the late years both women and men are equally affected. Also, some other diseases and conditions, as well as the use of certain drugs can lead to this illness.
Initially, osteoporosis does not hurt and has no symptoms, which is one of the main reasons for the late diagnosis. However, in a more advanced stage, the clinical picture appears in the form of frequent fractures, even at minimum force. These can be fractures of the upper arm, forearm, hip, femur or leg, which are easily diagnosed. The most common symptoms are back pain and spinal deformity.
The pain occurs suddenly, often caused by a sudden movement such as bending, lifting of the load or spin rotation. It can spread to the front of the thorax, the abdomen or along the limbs, and the pain passes after a few weeks. Due to the deformation of spinal vertebrae that occurs after the fracture, spine kyphosis and decrease in body height occur. The pain of all bones is rare, and between the fractures most patients have no symptoms.
Because of the non-manifestation of clinical symptoms, more than half of women with osteoporosis remain without diagnosis.
Treatment of patients with osteoporosis is individual and does not only depend on the degree of bone density reduction, but also on the assessment of other risk factors. For some women, lifestyle changes may be sufficient to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Although food is the best source of calcium, many women in menopause have the need to supplement calcium and vitamin D. The optimal daily intake of calcium is 1,000-1,200 mg, and vitamin D, 600-800 mg. They are basic preparations that are used as auxiliary medicinal products and an addition to any medicine against this disease.
Osteoporosis is easier to prevent than to treat, so prevention should begin already in childhood or adolescence, to reach the top of the bone mass that represents a reserve for the future. It implies a correction of lifestyle and education.
This refers to increasing activity in everyday life, exercise, nutrition, sunbathing, avoiding falls, as well as smoking, alcohol and coffee in excessive amounts. Nutrition should be diverse, rich in calcium, proteins and vitamin D. Exercises should be done regularly and continue throughout entire live. They can be adapted to each lifetime and condition of the bone mass.