Osteoporosis: causes and symptoms
What is dangerous osteoporosis?
The disease is characterized by a progressive decrease in bone density, bone loss. This increases the risk of fracture even with a minor injury or strain. There are also cases of spontaneous fractures arising for no apparent reason.Bones affected by osteoporosis heal very slowly. In the case of severe fractures (for example, a hip injury), the patient risks remaining disabled - not all victims are able to recover motor activity.
It is completely impossible to cure osteoporosis, therefore prevention is its main method of fighting the disease. Drug treatment methods include calcium supplements and drugs that stimulate the formation of bone tissue, hormone therapy.
Causes of disease
The density of human bone tissue reaches a maximum by about 30 years, and then begins to gradually decline. With age, the body’s ability to absorb calcium decreases,the amount of physical activity decreases, as a result of which the degenerative changes of bones begin, their structure is disturbed.
Women suffer from osteoporosis more often than men - during the period of menopause, the production of female sex hormones decreases, which leads to the leaching of calcium from the bones. At the same time, the risk of developing the disease is higher in fragile short women.Lifestyle is of great importance - smoking, alcohol and caffeine, poor nutrition, low in calcium and vitamin D, low physical activity affect calcium absorption.
People who have been taking hormonal drugs (glucocorticosteroids) for a long time, as well as barbiturates and anticonvulsants, are also more susceptible to osteoporosis. Secondary osteoporosis can develop as a result of certain chronic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, Bechterew's disease, some endocrine diseases), and burdened heredity is important (cases of illness in relatives increase the risk of its development in a patient).
Symptoms of osteoporosis
A decrease in bone density begins imperceptibly for the patient, for a very long time a person may be unaware of the disease. Often, the diagnosis becomes known after the fracture.arose almost "from scratch".
At the initial stage, osteoporosis can show itself with a weak aching pain in the bones and joints (most often in the lumbar or thoracic spine). The pain does not interfere with daily activities and usually passes after a short rest.
Also signs of brittleness of nails and hair, early gray hair, cramps in the legs and feet may indicate a lack of calcium.Severe osteoporosis leads to an inexplicable decrease in body weight, reduced growth due to changes in the height of the vertebrae, curvature of the spine.
To diagnose osteoporosis, doctors most often use densitometry, a method that measures bone density. This is a painless study based on different x-ray absorption depending on bone mineral density.