Table of contents:
- 10 misconceptions about osteoporosis
- Osteoporosis affects only the elderly
- The disease manifests itself in severe pain
- Preventing osteoporosis is difficult and expensive
- Men do not get osteoporosis
- The disease is not life threatening
- The risk of developing osteoporosis is the same for all people
- Bone loss cannot be stopped and replenished
- Osteoporosis is very difficult to diagnose
- Osteoporosis medications are dangerous
- Physical activity in osteoporosis is contraindicated
Video: 10 Misconceptions About Osteoporosis
2023 Author: Rachel Wainwright | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:19
10 misconceptions about osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a systemic disease, the main symptom of which is a decrease in bone density. In terms of the breadth of distribution in the world, it ranks fourth among non-communicable diseases. The disease often develops in adulthood: in our country, about a third of women and a quarter of men over 50 suffer from it.
The disease affects all parts of the skeleton. This increases the risk of fractures caused by situations in which it is usually difficult to get injured: bones can be damaged with light loads or very mild concussions, and then heal slowly and difficult.
There are many myths and misconceptions associated with osteoporosis, because of which people devote little time to the prevention of the disease and the wrong approach to its treatment. Let's consider the most famous of them.
Osteoporosis affects only the elderly
Basically, the disease is associated with age-related changes in the hormonal background, which contribute to the leaching of calcium from the body. However, do not forget that in 80% of cases it is genetically determined. This means that if you have a family history of osteoporosis, your risk of developing it at a young age increases.
When taking certain medications, the possibility of developing (regardless of age) the so-called secondary osteoporosis is not excluded. At risk are patients who are treated with glucocorticosteroids (for example, hydrocortisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone), barbiturates, anticonvulsants, and thyroid hormones. In addition, secondary osteoporosis can be a consequence of type 1 diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis of the liver, pathologies of the parathyroid glands, kidney and liver diseases.
The disease manifests itself in severe pain
The initial stage of the disease, as a rule, proceeds completely unnoticed. A person does not feel any signs of increased fragility of bones until he gets into a situation that entails trauma. As it progresses, osteoporosis can manifest as negative changes in posture (stoop) and decreased growth. People who have had this disease for several years have a dull, aching pain in the lower back that gets worse with movement.
Preventing osteoporosis is difficult and expensive
Preventive measures aimed at replenishing the lack of calcium in the body should be carried out from 25-30 years of age. They are available to everyone. It is enough to eat right, limit the consumption of coffee and table salt, lead an active lifestyle, wisely dosing physical activity. It is important to sunbathe periodically: ultraviolet rays contribute to the formation of vitamin D in the body, without which normal absorption of calcium is impossible. Smoking should be quit as nicotine consumption is a risk factor for osteoporosis.
Men do not get osteoporosis
Representatives of the stronger sex do suffer from osteoporosis less often than women, and the decrease in bone strength in men is not so rapid. But no one is immune from the disease. Along with heredity, risk factors are the presence of chronic diseases and unhealthy habits, physical inactivity, unbalanced nutrition (especially rejection of fermented milk products, fish and dried fruits).
The disease is not life threatening
To some extent, this is true: no one has died directly from osteoporosis. However, fragility of bones is a very dangerous condition. It is enough that a poorly healing fracture is fraught with a significant decrease in the quality of life, constant pain, limited mobility and a drop in interest in the world around it, which can lead an elderly person to fatal consequences. According to statistics, only 15% of elderly people who have suffered a hip fracture are able to restore the lost mobility. Most of these patients die within a year after the injury.
The risk of developing osteoporosis is the same for all people
This is not true. In women, the likelihood of developing osteoporosis is associated with the specificity of age-related changes in hormonal levels: an early menopause increases the risk of an illness. It has been proven that those representatives of the fairer sex are more at risk, whose body weight is disproportionately small with high growth. In addition, the disease is ethnically linked: in fair-skinned Europeans, osteoporosis is observed more often than in representatives of the Mongoloid or Negroid races.
Bone loss cannot be stopped and replenished
Today this statement can be considered obsolete. There are medications that can help to improve calcium metabolism and improve the quality of bone tissue, to some extent reduce the fragility of bones and slow down the development of osteoporosis.
Of course, treatment must be prescribed by a specialist, since many drugs have contraindications. In addition, the patient should be constantly under medical supervision.
Osteoporosis is very difficult to diagnose
Pathological changes in bone tissue occur slowly, without affecting the state of health. It is possible to assess the prospects for the development of an illness in a particular person using a special computer program - FRAX. To do this, personal risk factors are entered into it, and the calculator calculates the likelihood of osteoporosis for the next ten years.
In addition, there is osteodensitometry - a diagnostic procedure that allows you to quantitatively measure bone mineral density. It should be taken periodically for patients at risk or taking drugs for osteoporosis (to monitor the effectiveness of treatment). The study is a mild, gentle X-ray examination, absolutely safe and painless.
Osteoporosis medications are dangerous
Therapy consists in taking specific drugs that help the body to form bone tissue, as well as drugs containing high doses of calcium and vitamin D. In clinical studies, it was found that drugs for osteoporosis can provoke allergic reactions. Occasionally, skin lesions (eczema, including of an infectious origin) occur.
The dangers of osteoporosis treatment are primarily related to its duration. Specific drugs must be drunk, as a rule, within 5-7 years (sometimes with a break of 1-2 years). That is why patients must be under constant medical supervision and strictly observe the dosage of prescribed drugs.
Physical activity in osteoporosis is contraindicated
This is not true. Dosed physical activity helps to build the upper layer of bone tissue and strengthen the skeleton. Of course, the set of exercises should be made by an experienced specialist, taking into account the individual characteristics of each patient and in contact with his attending physician. However, exercising in the gym can be successfully replaced by regular walking: it has been proven that walking for half an hour a day not only does not harm patients with osteoporosis, but also significantly improves their condition and reduces the risk of fractures.
Osteoporosis is a very common condition. It is not difficult to reduce the personal risk of developing the disease, everyone can do it. It is necessary to eat right from youth, not to succumb to bad habits and lead an active lifestyle, and in adulthood - to monitor your condition, periodically visiting doctors and undergoing diagnostic procedures.
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Maria Kulkes Medical journalist About the author
Education: First Moscow State Medical University named after I. M. Sechenov, specialty "General Medicine".
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