Osteoporosis is a metabolic disease. According to the “China White Paper on Osteoporosis Prevention and Control”, my country is currently the world’s largest osteoporosis country, and my country alone accounts for nearly half of the more than 200 million osteoporosis patients in the world. But many people think that osteoporosis is a disease only for the elderly, and it is not a serious disease. But this is not the case. The age of onset of osteoporosis is gradually decreasing, and it is no longer a “patent” for the elderly. And it is very easy to cause falls, fractures, short height, and even death in severe cases. However, less than 1/10 people in our country know about osteoporosis, and even fewer people have received bone density testing.
Today, let’s talk about who is prone to osteoporosis, how to prevent it and see a doctor correctly.
Bone loss begins after age 30
Bones are composed of inorganic and organic substances such as calcium and phosphorus. As the largest organ in the human body, strong bones protect our internal organs like a copper wall. If we compare our bones to a bank, our asset peak is around the age of 30, and it will drop off a cliff after the age of 50. The prevalence of osteoporosis among people over 50 years old in my country is close to 1/51. If you don’t deposit enough money in the bank early, as you age, your bones will have more “debts” and you won’t be able to provide enough “pensions”.
Changes in bone mass with age
Data show that osteoporotic fractures are very harmful. For example, after a hip fracture, about 20% of patients will die of various complications within one year, about 50% of survivors may be disabled, and half of them may have a second fracture. In addition, the fracture will also bring serious economic losses to the patient and the patient’s family. The medical expenses directly caused by a hip fracture are about 30,000 yuan.
Causes of Osteoporosis Rejuvenating
Office workers in the city spend most of their time sitting indoors and working. The busy work makes everyone physically and mentally exhausted and has little time for exercise. There are also many convenient means of transportation for going out in free time, which lacks the motivation to exercise. But in fact, bone is an organ that needs “stimulation” very much, especially through exercise to stimulate its metabolism, maintain bone vitality, and increase bone density and bone quality.
Vitamin D is a very important hormone. The body’s calcium and phosphorus absorption depends on the regulation of vitamin D, which is also the “nutrition” of bones. Vitamin D needs to rely on ultraviolet light for its conversion into the body’s use. But now most young people don’t have time to go out to bask in the sun, and many women even wear sunscreen from head to toe. In addition to summer, cities are often shrouded in smog and lack effective sunlight conditions. Therefore, vitamin D deficiency has become a very common phenomenon, and the bones are very “hungry”. No wonder there will be a decrease in bone mass.
All kinds of soft drinks are really refreshing and appetizing. Many office workers rely on coffee or tea to maintain their lives every day. However, excessive consumption of carbonated drinks and other caffeinated drinks will accelerate the loss of calcium in bones, and the same is true for excessive alcohol consumption.
For many young women, maintaining a slim body is the pursuit of beauty, but if they diet excessively, eat only vegetarian food and not meat, limit protein intake, and have low body weight, it will lead to a decrease in bone quality and early osteoporosis.
Nowadays, takeaway has become the meal of many young people. In order to maintain the taste, takeaway is often heavy oil and salt. But the human body will also excrete more calcium while excreting sodium. A high-fat diet also increases the risk of other metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, which also negatively affect bones.
Correct prevention of osteoporosis
A balanced diet and adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D are the basic guarantee for bone health. Foods high in calcium and vitamin D in the diet include dairy products, soy products, nuts, fish, shrimp, eggs, mushrooms, etc.
Figure 2 Pagoda of daily dietary balance recommended by the Chinese Nutrition Society
You can choose a hospital to test the serum vitamin D content. If the serum 25OHD level is maintained above 30 ng/mL for a long time, it is an ideal state for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis (Table 1).
Table 1 Recommended dosage of vitamin D for different age groups
Exercise can increase muscle agility, strength, and balance. If conditions permit, daily weight-bearing and resistance exercises can be added. Giving bones more stress stimulation can help increase bone density.
If you have the following conditions, it is recommended to screen bone density early: back pain, short height, thin body, minor external injury fractures, menopausal age earlier than 40 years old, family history of osteoporosis, vitamin D deficiency (less than 10ng/ml). Osteoporosis needs more awareness, and early prevention is the key. Once bone mass decline or osteoporosis occurs, go to the endocrinology department in time. (Jin Chenxi, Physician, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital, and Zhao Wenhui, Deputy Chief Physician)