Osteoporosis and Its Importance

By | 19 April 2021

Osteoporosis and Its Importance

Bones are structures that support muscles structurally, protect vital organs, and store most of the calcium (99%) required for cells to function. OSTEOPOROSIS (bone resorption) is a skeletal system disease caused by the deterioration of bone integrity and especially the loss of calcium in the bones and the weakening of the bones.

Osteoporosis is a health problem that affects both genders and all races and is increasing in frequency and brings significant financial burden. Osteoporosis, whose prevalence gradually increases with age, is a natural process of aging. Decrease in calcium absorption from the intestines, insufficient calcium intake, decrease in the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin, decrease in the conversion of vitamin D to its active form in the kidneys, decreasing estrogen levels with menopause cause osteoporosis.

Along with age, gender is also important. While the incidence of osteoporosis in men was 12.1%, it was found to be 57% in women. Secondary causes are often responsible for osteoporosis, which is less common in men: cortisone drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, decreased sex hormones, smoking, family history of osteoporosis, vitamin D deficiency, overactivity of the thyroid and parathyroid gland, rheumatological diseases, diabetes, bone marrow cancers.

No cause can be found in 40% of male osteoporosis, and these cases are considered primary (primary) osteoporosis.

Racial characteristics: The incidence of the disease is 30 -40% lower in black women, bone loss is slower. Also, differences are observed between societies. It is more in urban societies than in rural areas. The important reasons for this are; The city is a decrease in human activity, an increase in the frequency of falls and trauma, and nutritional conditions.

Osteoporosis and its importance remain silent until a bone fracture and does not show any symptoms. The most feared consequence is a bone fracture. All bones can be fractured. However, fractures in the spine, hip, and wrist are most common. Spinal fractures can be seen with daily activities such as light lifting, bending, and severe coughing. Hip fractures often develop as a result of falling. Pulmonary embolism and hospital infections secondary to hip fractures increase the risk of death. One-third of patients who develop hip fractures have to spend their remaining life dependent on them.

Causes affecting the fracture: Decreased bone density is not the only reason for osteoporotic fractures. Many differences play a role: From the mother’s womb to childhood and adolescence, a calcium-poor diet, genetic factors (vitamin D receptors and bone collagen structure), lack of physical activity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, cortisone drug use, deprivation of sunlight and extreme weakness. can be counted as.

The most important environmental factors in bone development are calcium consumption and exercise. Calcium requirement is the highest during the years of rapid growth, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Bone mineral density is maintained for a while in both genders after reaching the malignant bone mass. It begins to decrease between the ages of 35 and 45. After the menstrual bleeding ceases, bone loss increases approximately seven times.

Diagnosis: The diagnosis of osteoporosis is made in the presence of osteoporotic fracture confirmed by examination or radiological (x-ray) or bone mineral density (BMD) measurement. After the diagnosis, other systemic diseases that cause bone loss and fracture besides osteoporosis should be investigated.

Who is at risk for osteoporosis?

  • Women who have natural or surgical menopause before the age of 45,
  • Those who have menstruation after the age of 16,
  • Advanced age, female gender,
  • Thin and white-skinned individuals,
  • A fracture detected in parents due to osteoporosis (especially hip fracture),
  • Those who smoke,
  • Those who consume too much alcohol,
  • Those who have a poor diet in calcium and vitamin D,
  • Those who consume excessive caffeine (coffee and cola drinks),
  • Inactive individuals who do not exercise,
  • Men with decreased testosterone levels,
  • People who use drugs that accelerate bone destruction (cortisone, lithium, thyroid hormone, epilepsy drugs, heparin derivatives),
  • Rheumatological diseases (Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis),
  • Chronic kidney diseases,
  • Those with digestive system diseases (colitis and small intestine disease),
  • Patients with the overactive thyroid gland,
  • Patients with overactive parathyroid gland,
  • Type-1 Diabetes patients,
  • Patients with overactive adrenal gland,
  • Some cancer patients (Multiple myeloma and metastasizing breast and lung tumors)

It is estimated that there are 200 million women with osteoporosis in the world today. Health expenditures and loss of workforce for fracture cases caused by this disease bring the early diagnosis and prevention of the disease before a fracture occurs.

To keep the bones strong and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, it is necessary to take calcium with our foods regularly every day starting from childhood, and vitamin D from sunlight or suitable sources.

Calcium needed for bone health cannot be provided without consuming milk and dairy products. These products also contain phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, protein, and B group vitamins necessary for the best use of calcium.

Vitamin D is of great importance for calcium being absorbed from the intestines and stored in our bones. It should not be forgotten that most of the daily vitamin D (85%) is taken from sunlight. Among the natural food sources rich in vitamin D are fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, bonito, veal liver, and egg yolk. Also, adequate and balanced protein consumption is important for bone health.

The importance of exercise: Regular exercise is important at all ages because of its positive effects on general health and protection from osteoporosis. Weight exercises, walking, jogging, dancing, tennis, and stair climbing exercises are recommended. The ideal is to exercise at least 3-4 times a week. However, individuals must go through a doctor’s control before the exercise program.


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