he painters have been depicting the female beauty since the beginning of time, mainly focusing on the younger women. The ageing woman loses her attractiveness, but when does this sad loss start. How does it progress? What is the reason? The outstanding painting by G. Klimt ‘Three ages of woman’ is one of the first to honestly portray the looks of older woman. Her back is bent, her shoulders drooping, her waist is flat while the belly is protruding…And though her beautiful hair is covering her face, we have no doubt: this woman is old. It is this shape the young beauty is morphing into, due to osteoporosis, ‘the silent epidemic of the 21st century’.
Contrary to the widespread belief that osteoporosis results in ‘a simple Calcium depletion’, this condition is a metabolic skeletal disease characterized by the bone loss, compromised bone microarchitecture and subsequent increase in bone fragility and fracture risk. With osteoporosis, the fractures occur under no significant trigger. A slight bump, a fall from the patient’s height level, a sudden jolt (cough, sneeze, slight bodily contortion), and here comes the fracture. The most common initial osteoporotic fracture is the one of distal forearm. Later on, it is followed by the much more complicated and threatening ones – the vertebral and femoral head fractures. It is the vertebral fractures that cause the constant spinal aches, and curvature signaling the youth’s end. Every four out of 10 women suffer one or several osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime.
‘Three ages of woman’ by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, 1905. National Gallery of the Modern Art, Rome, Italy.
When should you start worrying about your back?
According to various studies, the skeleton starts ageing at 35 years when the woman is in her prime.
The critical point comes with the onset of menopause when the rate of bone loss drastically increases due to the estrogen, i.e. female hormone, deficit. Female bone loss starts at the age of 35-40 years, and amounts to 0, 5-1 % annually; however, with the menopausal onset (especially 3-5 years into post-menopause), the woman may lose 3-7 % of bone annually. In the first postmenopausal years, the bone loss amounts to 9-35 %, significantly aggravating the fracture risk. All the above-mentioned facts prove the importance of early osteoporotic prophylaxis.
The effective osteoporotic prophylaxis is associated with an adequate consumption of Calcium and Vitamin D. The normal daily amounts of Calcium are no less than 1000-1500 mg/day. However, during pregnancy and lactation women should get a lot more than that. As for the prophylaxis and treatment of Vitamin D deficit, read our recommendations here: http://osteoporos.com.ua/uk/evidas-uk/metodichni-rekomendacii. To promote the bone’s formation and maintenance, the women should also exercise regularly.
Who needs the osteoporotic prophylaxis and when:
- Postmenopausal women, especially with early or surgical menopause.
- Women with ovarian-menstrual disorders (primary or secondary amenorrhea).
- Women planning to get pregnant.
- Men over 50 years.
- Patients with fragility fractures (irrespective of age).
- Patients with the following risk factors:
- Long immobilization
- Alcohol abuse
- Reduced motor activity (hypodynamia)
- Alimentary factors (reduced calcium consumption, caffeine abuse)
- Endocrine disorders, kidney and intestinal diseases, rheumatic disorders (rheumatic arthritis, spondylarthrosis, systemic lupus, systemic sclerodermia, vasculites etc.) and neurological diseases (Parkinson’s, MS etc.).
- Certain medication: glucocorticoids, cytostatics (methotrexate, cyclosporine etc.), seizure medication, heparin, advanced doses of gonadotropinerelease hormone, antacids containing alluminium etc.
- Low body mass (BMI 19 c.u.) measured by the formula: BMI = [Body mass (kg)/height (m)]2,
- Osteoporosis and fragility (femoral head) fractures among the close relatives.
You’re invited to the Ukrainian Scientific-Medical Center of Osteoporosis Problems to find out whether you’re at risk for osteoporosis and to get a customized prophylaxis and, if need be, treatment program.
Spend 30 minutes on you. Save your youthful back.
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