Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeleton in which the amount of calcium present in the bones slowly decreases to the point where the bones become thinner and more porous. As a result, the bones are brittle and more prone to fracture. Osteoporosis is diagnosed when bone density has decreased to the point where fractures can occur with just mild stress.
The disease has shown higher incidence in people with diabetes, especially women. Knowing you risk and understanding the ways to prevent the disease can help.
Type 1 osteoporosis occurs in women between the ages of 50 and 75 and is typically caused by the sudden post-menopausal decrease in estrogen levels, which can result in a rapid depletion of calcium from the skeleton.
Type 2, or age-related, osteoporosis results when the process of the absorption of calcium and formation decreases and the breakdown of bone occurs. This happens in everyone as they age. However, someone who has exceptionally dense bones to begin with will probably never reach the point where osteoporosis occurs. Type 2 osteoporosis affects both men and women.
NOT JUST A LADIES CLUB
80% of the people who have osteoporosis are women. It affects almost half of all women over 50 and almost 90% of those over 75 years of age. While the threats of osteoporosis in men is much lower than in women, two million men do have osteoporosis, and three million more are at risk. After age 50, the disorder affects almost 30% of men.
Some women with diabetes, especially those with type 1 diabetes, have a higher incidence of osteoporosis if blood glucose levels have been high for a prolonged period. They may also develop osteoporosis prior to menopause.
If they are overweight, women with type 2 diabetes tend to have a lower instance of osteoporosis. However, a recent study suggests that women with type 2 diabetes, who are over 65 years of age, have a greater risk of hip and should fractures than women in general.
MINERALS & EXERCISE
Because osteoporosis affects such considerable portion of the female population, as well as significant numbers of men, prevention is important. Regular exercise and an adequate calcium and vitamin D intake can go a long way in helping patients avoid osteoporosis.