According to the World Health Organization (WHO), osteoporosis (bone loss) is one of the ten most common chronic diseases worldwide. In every country, nearly eight million people are affected, most of whom are women. Osteoporosis is a typical disease of old age the bones – which can be fatal in some cases: These consequences include broken bones, surgery, prolonged bed rest and care.
Construction and removal of bone mass
The bone mass in the body is constantly built up and removed: where the skeleton is heavily stressed, more bone is built where the stress is low, is degraded. The so-called osteoblasts and osteoclasts are responsible for this. Normally, bodywork and dismantling procedures are balanced in the body. Yet, if this equilibrium is disturbed, the bone mass may be reduced – hence the popular name of bone loss. The result is unstable and, above all, brittle bones.
Bone loss: causes and risk factors
Women have particularly affected: Approximately one-third developed after the menopause osteoporosis, with age and more frequently. The main reason for this is the decrease or production of the “female” hormone estrogen in the menopause from the age of 50 onwards. Most women lose valuable bone substance when the sex hormone level drops. This is due to that the estrogen intake of calcium control in the bone, and this is an essential component of bone.
But actually, the age-related bone degradation begins – slowly and unintentionally – much earlier, from the middle of 30. Very slim women can also develop osteoporosis even in younger years. Besides, the women are more often affected by bone loss, which has no children and early menopause
Osteoporosis: Characteristics and course
Normally the bone-degrading and bone-building cells are in balance. But in the case of an osteoporotic disease, this perfectly coordinated interaction is disturbed – the breakdown predominates. As a result, the bones are no longer so strong, they become more and more porous, and the risk of bone fractures increases drastically. It is fatal that these changes often cause no discomfort over long periods of time and are only discovered late and as a result of the complications. Vertigo and vertebral fractures cause back pain. In the further course, the body size decreases, and a ridge (“widow’s buck”) can form.
Osteoporosis suffers from long-term survival, especially in older thigh fractures, which are often associated with complications and permanent pain. As the progress, even the smallest bursts of a bone fracture are enough. For example, a slight stumbling, coughing, turning around in the bed and even lifting a cup. The World Health Organization (WHO) assumes that the number of thigh fractures will double worldwide in the next 20 years
Basic therapy with vitamin D, calcium, and exercise
Vitamin D and calcium are the basis therapy – even if you are taking osteoporosis medications. Vitamin D is closely related to a body-borne hormone, it controls cell activities and acts as a calcium regulator. Calcium is the most important building block from which our bones are built – simply, without calcium, no build-up of bone substance. Movement Targeted exercise and stress from muscles and skeleton are important.