Osteoarthritis is by far the most common form. It is characterized mainly by the collapse and loss of joint cartilage. Cartilage is the hard tissue that separates and protects the bones in a joint. As the cartilage is wearing out and the bones begin to rub each other, the joint is irritated. In osteoarthritis, the breakdown of cartilage is accompanied by a tiny inflammation, hardening the bone beneath the cartilage and causing it to grow around the joints. Most people develop a bit of osteoarthritis when older.
You probably believe that the bones do not grow into adults. After all, nobody is higher after a certain age. But the truth is that the body is still absorbing the old bone and replacing new for life. What happens is a continuous process of bone remodeling in the tissue replaces old cells with new ones. During childhood and adolescence, bone formation predominates. By age 30, bones reach peak bone mass (when they are at its most powerful and abundant). After that, the game is reversed and resorption of bone is slowly overtaking production. For women, bone loss accelerates immediately after menopause, when hormone levels that protect the bone - estrogen - fall.
Such is the case. However, in some people, bone loss can happen as quickly and / or reconstruction occurs so slowly that osteoporosis develops. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become porous and lose so much mass that they become fragile and prone to fracture. It primarily affects women, in part because their bone is less dense than men, although they also suffer from the disease. Moreover, it is more likely that the disease affects a person who never reached the peak of bone mass.
Osteoporosis is known as a silent disease because many people only discover they have it when they suffer a broken hip or a small accident, how to close a stuck window or open a bottle, and this results in a broken wrist.
The factors leading to osteoporosis and measures that can be taken to minimize the effects of the disease make proper diet and choose certain lifestyles.
Osteoporosis Causes: The causes of osteoporosis are unknown. However, the chances of acquiring it increase dramatically with aging, especially in women. A prevailing theory is that osteoporosis results from the loss of estrogen, a female hormone that affects the calcium content of bones. Menopause can lead to osteoporosis, as estrogen production decreases considerably at that time.
For unknown reasons, osteoporosis occurs more in white and Asian women than black women. Furthermore, the thin, especially those of very light skin, are at greater risk than fat women with dark skin.
The disease can also be caused by other factors: the surgical removal of both ovaries and the onset of chronic arthritis or inflammation of the joints can lead to osteoporosis, sedentary people, whether by choice or because of disease, are more susceptible to disturbance.
A diet low in nutrients, especially calcium promotes the development of bones, may also contribute to osteoporosis. People who use drugs with steroids for a prolonged period to treat other diseases are in an area of significantly greater risk. Other risk factors include smoking, early menopause and osteoporosis cases in the family.
Osteoporosis Symptoms: Depending on the strength of bones, osteoporosis can have no symptoms and no pains in its early stages. If there is pain, is more common to occur in the lower spine. The disease poses no threat to life, but it causes fractures, which, in the elderly, can result in serious complications. In principle, the shooting pains in the spine can be caused by fractures in the bones of the spine (vertebra).
Treatment and Prevention for Osteoporosis: The doctors encourage patients with osteoporosis to follow an exercise program that will assist in strengthening the muscles that support the bones weak. However, to protect the bones of the spine, you should avoid carrying heavy objects. In advanced cases, it may be necessary to use a vest to help support the body weight while sitting and rising.
People prone to fractures must exercise and follow a balanced diet to prevent and control disease. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin D stimulate bone formation. When the diet does not rely on these nutrients, your doctor may prescribe supplements of vitamins and minerals.
Osteoporosis has no cure, so the best line of defense is prevention. If you wait too long to worry about the disease, may be too late to reverse the damage. There are some steps that can be followed to prevent future bone loss.
- Follow a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D;
- Getting regular exercise;
- Have a healthy lifestyle, avoiding smoking or abusing alcohol;
- Perform a bone densitometry and take appropriate medications as needed.
Several studies indicate that women in post-menopause may reduce bone loss in more than 40% if they drink sufficient amounts of calcium.
Milk is good for health, especially in the fight against osteoporosis, for those who dislike milk and its derivative; there are some foods choices are not made from milk that contain calcium. If you are concerned about the fat and calories, there are large varieties of products lows in calories and fat that provides the calcium you need.
Of course the best way to prevent bone loss is to know what causes it exactly.
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