Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease. It is characterized by decreased bone mass and deterioration in its quality, circumstance leading to increased bone fragility to impact and, therefore, an increase in fractures.
The significance of this disease is increasing in our society by the gradual increase in the age of the population (population aging). His arithmetic impact is both familiar and social and economic.
Most common fractures in osteoporosis
The most common osteoporotic fractures according to specialists in rheumatology are the spine, the hip and distal forearm. As a result of fractures are a number of complications that impact decisively on the clinical condition (pain, disability, quality of life, impact and worsening of other diseases).
Densitometry to diagnose osteoporosis and disease prevalence
The decrease in bone mass is determined by a test called densitometry. The result of this test predicts the risk of osteoporotic fracture, in postmenopausal women and elderly men.
Loss of bone mass is more common in women and is increased in menopause due to decreased estrogenic hormone bone protective effect during the climacteric period.
When osteoporosis is suspected
People suffering from osteoporosis are identified by the history of an infection caused by a low impact or the presence of risk factors known and accepted, ranked by relevant and less relevant fracture.
The most important risk factors are:
- Family history (parents or siblings) of hip fracture
- Thinness: body mass index less than 20 kg / m2
- Prolonged treatment with cortisone
- Untreated early menopause
- Often fall
- Malnutrition and eating behavior disorder (anorexia and bulimia)
The risk factors are less relevant:
- Higher alcohol consumption to 10g a day
- Debilitating diseases or favoring the "bed rest"
- Any circumstance that favors fall
- Certain drugs, such as heparin, antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics and antihistamines
To recommend measures to increase bone density and quality are:
- Moderate to intense exercise in young patients
- Moderate exercise in adulthood
- Regular exercise and adapted in the elderly. While there appears to benefit bone mass, yes exerts a preventive mechanism, by reducing the number of falls.
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and perform physical activity according to the person, age, physical condition and presence of other diseases.
- Balanced diet with adequate protein intake, avoiding excess salt. Also, the recommended calcium intake is 1,000mg daily and blood levels of vitamin D3 between 30-60 ng / ml.
- Sun exposure must be moderate or limited, depending on the patient. It may be desirable vitamin D3.
- In elderly or suffering from some diseases should take extra measures to reduce the number of falls: use of canes or guardians to walk, housing adaptation (stairs, carpets, showers, non - slip floors ...). In some cases are highly desirable hip protectors.