What is osteoporosis?

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Osteoporosis

Every year, every other woman and every fourth man over 50 is affected by osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a «silent» disease that can be difficult to detect. The disease inhibits the growth of bone tissue within the bone. This is a part of the aging process, but through a number of factors, the process is accelerated. When the bone tissue breaks down faster than it is built up, small “cavities” is created in the skeleton, which makes it more fragile to break or getting injured. Because it is an «invisible disease», it is usually not detected until a bone fracture has occurred. These bone fractures usually occur in so-called low energy cases, which means a fall that usually wont cause a bone fracture, a benchmark used is that falling from normal standing height should not cause a fracture. There are two phases in the development of osteoporosis. When a person is on its way of getting osteoporosis, it is called osteopenia. Without action osteopenia can develop into osteoporosis.

 

Symptoms

Unfortunately, it is difficult to detect osteoporosis as it is a so-called «silent epidemic», but there are some warning signs that should be known. If you have backaches, it may be osteoporosis. The vertebrae can be compressed and create an unpleasant backache that can be experienced in the form of a radiant pain. Vertebrae compression can then lead to spinal fractures, which in turn can be shown through length reduction or that the person in question develop a hunchback. Other warning signs of osteoporosis may also be abnormal bone fracture in low energy cases.

 

Risk Factors

In today’s society, office jobs are becoming more common, which means that people do not get the activity and training needed to keep the skeleton strong and healthy. There are a number of factors that increase the risk of osteoporosis. These can be a sedentary life, smoking, bad diet, heredity and longer treatment with cortisone. In addition, there are risk factors that can not be affected, such as heredity. The development of the bone tissue is stimulated by estrogen, and therefore women who crossed menopause have a greater risk of having osteoporosis. Research also shows that young women who exercise excessively and loses their menstruation have a higher risk of having osteoporosis.

 

Treatment

If you perform a bone density test at an early stage, it is easy to prevent the disease today. Osteoporosis can be treated with and without drugs depending on the stage of the disease. Treatment without drugs is often used in an early stage and may occur in the form of vitamin D supplements, physical activity and higher intake of calcium products such as milk, cheese and other dairy products. When treating osteoporosis with drugs, in general, bisphosphonates are used which counteract the degradation cells in the bone tissue. Bisphosphonates can be obtained either as a tablet form or by drop. The tablets are usually taken once a week and drip is usually taken every six months.