Osteoporosis Action Alliance
6.3 million people in Germany suffer from osteoporosis, 80% of whom are women.(2) Although the risk of developing the disease before the age of 45 remains relatively low for both sexes, it increases with age, especially in women after menopause. (3) According to the World Health Organization (WHO), osteoporosis is one of the most important chronic diseases today and will probably become even more important as the population ages.(4) Women in particular should be vigilant to the first signs of the disease due to its higher incidence. A challenge, because osteoporosis begins insidiously and is often only recognized when a bone fracture has already occurred. But even then, 80 percent of those affected remain undiagnosed.(1) Only one in five affected people receive proper treatment after diagnosis.(2)
Causes and first signs
Osteoporosis in women is often associated with decreased estrogen production during menopause, as estrogen plays a key role in bone formation. Therefore, a deficiency can have a negative effect on bone density. (5) But many other factors can also promote the disease, for example, a low-calcium diet, lack of vitamin D and exercise, alcohol and cigarette use, or certain medications. In addition, cases of osteoporosis in the family may indicate an increased risk of the disease.(6,7) However, early signs of osteoporosis, such as dull back pain or loss of height, are often not taken seriously . Even a broken bone from a fall from a low height or a relatively light impact is often not associated with osteoporosis. But then, at the latest, there is a reason to talk to your doctor about osteoporosis.
Calcium and vitamin D strengthen bones
Ways to prevent osteoporosis or support treatment lie in a balanced diet rich in calcium and an active lifestyle. Calcium gives strength and support to bones and must be obtained regularly from food. The mineral is found in abundance in dairy products. Calcium is often added to soy-based foods for vegan diets. Another important source is, in the true sense of the word, mineral and healing waters rich in calcium. Green vegetables like kale and broccoli, as well as oatmeal, mushrooms, legumes, nuts, and seeds also contain “bone mineral.”(8) Vitamin D is necessary for calcium to be incorporated into the bones. 80 to 90 percent of the required vitamin D is formed in the skin under the influence of sunlight. The rest comes from a diet of high-fat fish such as salmon and mackerel, egg yolks, liver, edible fungi such as mushrooms, and foods fortified with vitamin D such as margarine.(9)
Exercise speeds up bone metabolism
Bones are living tissues that build and break down and have their own metabolism. Therefore, targeted exercise can make a big difference in osteoporosis. Regular strength training is highly recommended. This can be strenuous, but not too strenuous. Balance exercises help prevent falls and associated fractures. Strengthening muscles also helps reduce the risk of falls.(6) People with osteoporosis should talk to their doctor about their personal fitness level.
You can find information on osteoporosis, an information brochure and many other materials on nutrition and sports topics at www.aktionsbündnis-osteoporose.de.
- https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/patients/about-osteoporosis (accessed: 05/12/2022).
- Hadji P, Klein S, Gothe H, et al. Epidemiology of Osteoporosis – Bone Assessment Study. An analysis of routine health insurance data. Dtsch Doctors Int. 2013;110(4):52-57.
- 12-month prevalence of osteoporosis in Germany. https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/Gesundheitsmonitoring (accessed: May 12, 2022).
- World Health Organization (WHO) (1998). Guidelines for preclinical evaluation and clinical trials in osteoporosis. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/42088/9241545224_eng.pdf (accessed: 05/12/2022).
- osteoporosis and menopause. https://ots.de/JaMN49 (accessed: 05/12/2022).
- 2017 DVO Guideline: Prophylaxis, diagnosis and treatment of OSTEOPOROSIS in postmenopausal women and men – long version.
- https://ots.de/ztpUHd (accessed: May 12, 2022).
- https://www.dge.de/wissenschaft/faqs/calcium/#lm (access: April 27, 2022).
- https://www.dge.de/wissenschaft/weitere-publikationen/faqs/vitamin-d/ (Accessed: April 27, 2022).
Osteoporosis Action Alliance Press Office
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Eupener Strasse 60, 50933 Cologne
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0221 / 77 543-0
Your contact persons:
Birgit Dickore and Barbara Kluge
Original content from: Aktionsbündnis Osteoporose, broadcast by news aktuell