Things to know about osteoporosis in the elderly
Causes of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis means that the mineral density of a skeleton in a body is significantly reduced, in which hormones like estrogen and androgens, proteins, vitamin D and calcium play a significant role. It has been found that this disease is mainly caused by the lack of calcium, many be because daily meals do not provide enough calcium or for some reason the body does not absorb enough calcium, such as prolonged diet or using food with poor quality.
Especially in premenopausal and menopausal women, the amount of estrogen in the blood is significantly reduced by the deterioration of the ovaries. For this reason, the activity of bone marrow cells increases, resulting in the loss of bone mass over the years since menopause, which is about 2-4% per year.
Apart from diet and hormone factors, there are many factors that contribute to osteoporosis in older people, for example a history of rickets at an early age, lack of exercise, or obesity.
Main symptoms and consequences of osteoporosis
Decreased bone density and osteoporosis are chronic diseases that last many months or even years in a quiet, painless way, so many people do not notice them. Most cases in the early stages have no specific symptoms apart from signs of fatigue, poor appetite, uncommon bone pain.
As calcium deficiency progresses, osteoporosis becomes more serious. The common signs in this state are back pain, limb pain, joint pain and fatigue.
Other symptoms such as cramps are common in people with osteoporosis. When osteoporosis is not detected, or detected in time but not treated properly, the worst result will be fracture or cracking.
How to detect osteoporosis
Elderly people should go to health facilities that are eligible for subclinical screening to assess bone density and bone status. One of the best methods to measure bone mineral density is using DXA technique (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry).
In addition, underweight people, people who lose weight fast or have weak muscles, women who lack female hormone estrogen or man who lack male hormone androgen, alcoholics, people who use corticosteroids for a long time, tobacco users... should also check the density of their bone.
To detect osteoporosis early, the elderly need regular medical check-ups and appointments by physicians. The early detection and treatment are very important to prevent osteoporosis and prevent fractures.
The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to eat enough food, especially foods high in calcium, protein, vitamin D... because absorbing these nutrients can change the metabolism of the bone, reduce the rate of bone loss and increase bone mineral. At the same time, detect and treat the accompanying diseases. Adjust and control medication.
Also, train regularly with simple exercises such as walking, breathing, and moving joints. People who have osteoporosis should not do strong, fast moves and avoid falling, tripping to prevent bone damage.
By: Lily Haney