Osteoporosis is a great health problem nowadays. It may not kill as many people as cardiovascular or malign diseases but it still represents a serious health problem. If it is not diagnosed early and the treatment does not begin immediately, it can seriously impair the quality of our lives and lead to disorders that cause disabilities. Nutrition and proper lifestyle changes have a major role in the prevention and treatment of this disease, so please read the information that we want to share with you.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is defined as a condition in which there is increased bone tissue degradation, and bones become porous, soft and brittle. This leads to a very high likelihood of serious fractures, even in light falls. Hip fractures in the elderly (often accompanied by an inability to perform basic daily activities) often occur due to the presence of osteoporosis.
What are the risk factors for the occurrence of osteoporosis?
The early detection of this disease is very important in order to prevent the consequences. You can not detect this disease by yourself, therefore it is necessary to consult an expert-physician specialist in this area.
If you are older than 35 and you have at least two of the following risk factors, it is recommended to consult a doctor:
– Sedentary lifestyle
– Early menopause
– Chronic use of corticosteroids
– Use of cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine
– Diet rich in animal proteins, phosphoric acid (phosphorus) and salt.
How to prevent the onset of this disease, and how to treat it if it has already appeared?
There are several therapies for osteoporosis, and in fact, they can also be used to prevent the onset of osteoporosis:
Estrogen therapy is effective in preventing osteoporosis, but it increases the risk of developing cervical cancer and breast cancer and can also exacerbate diabetes and hypertension if present.
Vitamin D – for proper absorption and utilization of calcium, the body needs vitamin D. But the fact is that people who live in places where there is enough sunshine, don’t suffer from vitamin D deficiency, so the supplementation of vitamin D is not of any great benefit.
Calcium – if you have heard about osteoporosis, you have heard about calcium supplementation, but the real problem in osteoporosis is not the lack of calcium in our bodies, but its improper use and spending.
Drugs – there are drugs which are developed to strengthen your bones if you have already developed osteoporosis.
Exercise – if we do not exercise regularly, the bones will not strengthen nor will become thick. For the bones to retain the minerals within themselves (calcium), they should be exposed to resistance, i.e. to stretch, press and spin, contrary to the force of the gravitation.
If you smoke, stop smoking!
Proper nutrition – reduce the amount of salt, animal proteins and phosphorus in your diet. The usual diet rich in salt, phosphorus, and animal proteins causes excessive excretion of calcium from our body, which means that even if you consume enough calcium, it will not be kept in the bones but will be excreted in the urine. To prevent this calcium loss, we need to reduce the use of salt in our diet, to watch out our phosphorus intake (do not consume carbonated drinks rich in phosphoric acid), and to consume proteins in a recommended amount of 50-60grams per day, taking into account the quality of the proteins eaten, i.e. to consume proteins from plants, and not just from animal origin.