Approximately 200 million people worldwide suffer from osteoporosis. For example, in the United States of America, up to 44 million men and women suffer from this disease, which is up to 55% of all people over the age of 50. In Slovakia, the aforementioned disease threatens 8% of the population, that is, approximately 400,000 people.
The danger of osteoporosis lies mainly in the fact that about 20% of seniors who break a hip are at risk of death within one year of this event.
The disease that steals the bones is subtle. It moves slowly, we cannot feel or observe it. Its negative aspects become apparent only at the first fracture. Treatment of the disease is primarily based on regular physical activity, correction of hormonal imbalance and administration of vitamin D. Osteoporosis is defined as a bone disease that occurs with excessive loss of bone tissue. It usually appears in women after menopause, after the age of fifty. However, it is not an exception for young men and women. Statistics show that about one in four men and up to one in two women over the age of fifty will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis.
A hip fracture is life-threatening
We can imagine this disease as small gaps, holes in the bones that gradually weaken them and lead to their fracture. The disease also has several other complications, which are mainly accompanied by unpleasant pain. The best treatment of the disease is prevention. A broken bone with this diagnosis is much more difficult to treat than in a healthy person. Common symptoms of osteoporosis include bone pain and fractures, slouching, limited mobility in the hips, feet or knees. The danger of the disease lies mainly in the fact that about 20% of seniors who break their hip are at risk of death within one year of this event. The reduced amount of bone mass is caused by several factors. It is older age, improper diet and lack of nutrients, hormonal changes after menopause, low testosterone levels in men.
The prospects for treatment are pleasing
Osteoporosis is diagnosed by doctors using a special device that measures bone density (mineralization). In addition, a standard medical examination with urine and blood sampling is performed. The good news is that osteoporosis itself is not a fatal disease. The problem arises with complicated fractures, which can sometimes cause premature death. Daily exercise that helps build muscle mass can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis with age. The disease cannot be completely cured, but doctors can stabilize it and bring it under control.
What to add to the menu?
In the case of osteoporosis, it is recommended to adjust the diet, which should contain a sufficient amount of protein and foods containing calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, but also vitamins D and K. The recommended daily dose of proteins for adults is 0.8 grams per 1 kg of weight . At a weight of 80 kg, the recommended daily dose is 64 grams. Excellent sources of protein include mainly meat, fish, eggsdairy products, soy, nuts, plant seeds and legumes. Vitamin D is mainly obtained by staying in the sun, but also from vegetable oils, liver or eggs. The mineral calcium can be found mainly in poppy seeds, milk, eggs, some types of vegetables and, for example, in oranges.
Exercise is priceless, even walking is enough
To support bones and prevent osteoporosis, simple physical activities to strengthen muscle mass are suitable for seniors. The ideal sports activity is walking, but also yoga, pilates, exercises with weights under the supervision of a trainer. Physical activity helps build bone and muscle mass, improves balance, mobility, relieves stress, depression from illness and reduces inflammation. In case of osteoporosis, you should avoid exercises that involve sharp impacts, jumping or unnatural twisting of the spine or limbs.
Safety measures will save a senior’s life
The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that up to a third of all people over the age of 65 fall each year as a result of a lack of balance, and often jump with a broken bone. People with osteoporosis should therefore follow special measures to reduce the risk of falls. They include moving carefully, getting up slowly, using support aids, keeping enough light in the house, removing unstable carpets and electrical cords on the floor. You also need to use the handrails and handrails in the bath and shower.