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Food and nutrition

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones which makes the skeleton fragile. Early diagnosis is important as it limits the consequences and in particular the risk of bone fractures.


It is possible to prevent the risk of bone fractures by treating osteoporosis.

Is the risk greater with age?

  • Yes, because bones become weaker and less dense as we get older.
  • This must always be considered after the menopause, as the drop in hormones makes the bones more fragile.

What are the effects of osteoporosis?

  • Osteoporosis is not painful, but it makes the bones fragile, and a minor trauma may cause a fracture.
  • Height can decrease. A person who has suffered compression (vertebral fracture) can lose a couple of inches in height.
  • Besides the vertebral column, the most common fractures are those of the wrist and the neck of the femur.

Can I tell if I have Osteoporosis before a fracture?

  • Diagnosis of osteoporosis is based on proving an abnormal reduction in bone density.
  • Reduced height is a sign.
  • A personal or family history of fractures without any trauma is also a warning sign.
  • An X-ray of the spinal column does not allow for a definite diagnosis, except in the case of a fracture of one of the vertebrae.
  • A definite diagnosis of osteoporosis requires a specific test that measures bone mineral density or BMD. This simple and painless test is called bone densitometry or Dexa Scan. Your doctor will decide if this test is appropriate and will suggest it.

How can I avoid a fracture?

  • In the case of osteoporosis, you should eat foods rich in calcium (milk, cheese, certain mineral waters, etc.). Other suitable treatments may be suggested by your doctor. These can limit the risk of a fracture.
  • A vitamin D supplement is also recommended to preserve bone density. This is also found in certain foods such as oily fish, eggs, milk and butter.
  • A healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity can make the bone stronger.
  • Limit alcohol consumption and stop smoking.
  • Maintain normal weight and body mass index. A person's ideal weight can be calculated using BMI (Body Mass Index), which is calculated according to their height and weight. 

Normal and compressed vertebrae

Normal and compressed vertebrae


Normal and compressed vertebrae

Osteoporosis causes bone loss which makes the bones weak and leads to a risk of fracture. Bone densitometry is the reference diagnostic test.

Publication date:   10/14/17
Date of modification:  12/20/11
 
 

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