Understand what is osteoporosis and its causes

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by decreased bone mass, which makes bones more fragile, increasing the risk of fracture. This disease is silent, symptoms are not usually noticed and the diagnosis is made, most of the time, after the occurrence of fractures, for example.

Osteoporosis is very associated with aging, since over the years the body gradually loses its ability to metabolize and absorb calcium, for example. However, some lifestyle habits can also influence the occurrence of osteoporosis, such as physical inactivity, malnutrition and alcohol consumption.

Although this disease has no cure, treatment can be established with the aim of improving the person's quality of life and reducing the risk of fractures and associated diseases. It is important that the person has a healthy lifestyle, with regular physical exercise, but the doctor may also recommend the use of supplements or medications that help in the process of calcium reabsorption and formation of bone mass. See which are the most indicated drugs in osteoporosis.

Symptoms of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is, in most cases, asymptomatic, however it can be noticed through the fracture of some bone after a slight impact, for example. In addition, the decrease in height by 2 or 3 centimeters and the presence of drooping or hunched shoulders may be indicative of osteoporosis. Learn how to identify osteoporosis.

From the assessment of symptoms, the doctor can indicate the performance of an image exam that indicates the loss of bone mass, bone densitometry. This exam can be performed annually or every 2 years after the diagnosis of osteoporosis to adjust the dose of the medication. Understand how the bone densitometry exam is done.

Main causes

Osteoporosis is a disease very much related to aging, being more common in women after 50 years of age due to menopause. Other causes that can favor osteoporosis are:

  • Thyroid dysfunction;
  • Autoimmune diseases;
  • Calcium deficiency;
  • Sedentary lifestyle;
  • Nutritionally poor food;
  • Smoking;
  • Alcoholism;
  • Vitamin D deficiency.

These situations cause the organism to not function properly, with an imbalance between bone formation and destruction, making bones fragile and more likely to fracture.

How the treatment is done

The treatment for osteoporosis is made with the use of medications that stimulate the production of bone mass, however the adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, through food or supplements, and the practice of physical activities, such as walking, water aerobics and dance are also effective in combating osteoporosis symptoms. Find out which are the best exercises for osteoporosis.

Learn more about osteoporosis treatment.

How to prevent

The prevention of osteoporosis must be done throughout life through the adoption of healthy habits, such as:

  • Practice physical exercises on a regular basis such as walking, dancing, doing aqua aerobics or pilates;
  • Expose yourself daily to the sun, for at least 15 minutes, to stimulate the production of vitamin D;
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking;
  • Consume the recommended amount of calcium per day, about 1200 IU.

In addition, it is important to reduce the risk of fractures by removing unnecessary furniture and carpets from the home. See how to reduce the risks of osteoporosis through food.