How to tell if you have osteoporosis
Polina Koroleva, dietitian, endocrinologist of the Atlas network of clinics
Osteoporosis is an increased fragility of the bones, resulting in fractures with minimal trauma. Most often, osteoporosis affects the femoral neck, vertebral bodies, and forearm bones.
Bones are more than half made up of water, protein, collagen, elastin, and minerals. The bone adapts to the gravitational loads that the body experiences, and can actively rebuild.
Bone mass accumulates until about 30 years, and then it is only consumed. Maintaining bone health after the age of 30 is not an easy task.
Proper nutrition allows you to accumulate sufficient peak bone mass.
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How to eat right:
- eat foods rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other micro-and macronutrients
- get enough vitamin D
- have adequate physical activity.
The condition of the muscles and ligaments directly affects the accumulation of minerals in the bone. When forced to restrict movement, for example, due to a fracture, the bones quickly lose their mineral component, and osteoporosis and osteopenia can develop.
Osteoporosis is considered a disease characteristic of older people. As a rule, it occurs in women during menopause.
Risk factors for osteoporosis:
- taking glucocorticoids and steroid hormones for more than 3 months in high doses
- heredity. If your parents, grandparents, or aunts have had hip fractures or vertebral compression fractures in postmenopausal women, the risk is very high.
- lack of sex hormones.
There are estrogen receptors in the bones (in men, too, these hormones affect bone health), estrogens protect bone tissue from destruction. That is why in postmenopausal women, with a decrease in the level of estrogens, metabolic processes in the bone also slow down, destruction prevails over the formation of new bone tissue. The same is true for men with androgen deficiency.
Menopausal hormone therapy has been shown to help prevent osteoporosis, but the dose of estradiol (the female sex hormone) should be at least 1 mg.
What mineral substances need to be monitored:
- Calcium. Therefore, dairy products are necessary, especially hard cheeses and cottage cheese.
- Phosphorus. There is enough of it in fish.
- Vitamin D
How do you know if you have osteoporosis?
- If the height has decreased by more than 4 cm, this may indicate the presence of compression fractures of the vertebrae, so doctors regularly measure the height of their patients: they track the dynamics of growth over the course of life
- Appearance of slouching
- Increased thoracic kyphosis
- Reducing the distance from the pelvic bones to the costal arch
How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
Using X-ray computer densitometry. It is important to conduct this study once a year for people at risk for osteoporosis, women after menopause, and those who have had low-traumatic fractures. An endocrinologist may also prescribe additional tests to confirm or rule out osteoporosis. Vitamins and dietary supplements for maintaining the level of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D.