Osteoporosis is a common and widely discussed metabolic disease in which bones lose mass and solidity due to incongruity between the decomposition and the structuring processes. The result of this is an increased susceptibility to bone fracture. Even bone pain can occur. Bone solidity is substantially ensured by deposits of minerals, above all calcium and phosphate. Normally bone regeneration is enabled by permanent decomposition and structuring processes. These are controlled by hormones and establish an equilibrium in a healthy person.
If we look at bone metabolism more closely it becomes clear that many other organs of the body participate in this. This means that if these organs develop an illness, this could then have an indirect influence on bone metabolism thus triggering osteoporosis. The thyroid glands, for example, produce a hormone (calcitonin) which, together with Vitamin D, is responsible for depositing calcium in the bone structure. The parathyroid glands produce a hormone (parathormone) which dissolves the calcium. On the other hand, the production of these hormones is influenced by the sexual hormones estrogen and testosterone.
This regulating loop is broken when osteoporosis exists, the bones decompose more than they are structured. The most frequent and well known cause of this is estrogen insufficiency in women after the menopause. As opposed to this, testosterone insufficiency in men is not often the cause of osteoporosis. In addition to this we also have osteoporosis caused by age which occurs in both men and women to the same degree.
There are many risk factors:
- Excessive intake of alcohol, nicotine and coffee
- Insufficient physical exercise
- Excess of phosphate in food thus causing an insufficient supply of calcium and Vitamin D
- Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract which hinder the deposition of calcium and Vitamin D
- Excessive production of cortisone or a long-term treatment with cortisone (glycocorticoid)
- Hyperactive parathyroid glands
- Sexual hormone insufficiency (hypogonadism)
- Growth hormone insufficiency
The varied effects of hormones illustrate the need to have an endocrinological examination, resp. to look into the causes of osteoporosis.
Here you will find tips for a circumspect life with osteoporosis in order to avoid bone fracture.