Bone loss: diagnosis
First, the doctor will ask exactly for symptoms such as pain and change in height and other medical history; a physical examination and possibly laboratory tests and x-rays of the thoracic and lumbar spine follow.
The best way to determine the brittleness of the bones is bone density measurement (osteodensitometry). Although this can also be used as a preventive screening method, it is only remunerated by the health insurance companies if there is already a bone fracture and there is a reasonable suspicion of osteoporosis. If you are at an increased risk of bone loss (test on the last page), talk to your doctor if he thinks further investigation is needed.
Treatment of osteoporosis
Calcium and vitamin D3 tablets are the basic therapy for bone strengthening, bisphosphonates and calcitonin are also used for severe osteoporosis, and painkillers such as diclofenac for the pain. Bisphosphonates are now also available as a syringe (which is administered once to several times a year) - this has the advantage that the daily tablet intake is eliminated. The effect of additionally given fluoro preparations is controversial. In younger women, estrogen therapy can be initiated; however, this may have side effects such as an increased risk of uterine cancer.
Physiotherapy and physical therapy support the drug treatment. In case of increased risk of falling and bone protectors, z. As hip protectors used. Bone fractures are surgically treated.
Preventive measures and a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The basis for strong bones is a healthy diet with sufficient calcium and magnesium already in adolescence. Anyone who also moves a lot helps to ensure that the bones are more stable in old age. Even if a bone loss has already been noted, you can achieve a significant improvement with physical exercise and a balanced diet:
- Very important for the bone structure is the mineral calcium. Make sure your diet contains enough calcium. The German Nutrition Society recommends at least 800 milligrams of calcium per day. This corresponds, for example, to one liter of milk or 100 grams of hard cheese. If you can not make friends with dairy products, you can use kale, broccoli, spinach, almonds, hazelnuts and figs. "Calcium predators" are phosphates (eg in sausage and lemonade), caffeine, nicotine, too much salt and dietary fats. Incidentally, postmenopausal women who do not take hormones need even more calcium because the body can not use calcium from their diet as well.
- For the body to incorporate calcium into the bones, it always needs vitamin D. It is produced in the body under the influence of sunlight. Adequate education of this important vitamin is already achieved during a daily half-hour walk. If you can not stay outside for a while, there are also supplements in the pharmacy that contain vitamin D and calcium.
- Exercise and exercise strengthen skeletal muscle and are extremely important for the development and maintenance of bone mass. Running, cycling, swimming or even targeted strength training claims the bones. As a result, more bone substance is built up.
Safety tips for unstable bones
People suffering from osteoporosis should avoid risky situations and risk factors in order to avoid unnecessary danger. In addition, however, the following tips can also contribute to the safety of the osteoporosis patient:
- Reduce overweight
- Move regularly
- Avoid falls: Flat, non-slip shoes, no carpet runners in the apartment, good lighting, banisters
- Do not lift heavy weights
- Correct vision problems