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Qué debes saber sobre la osteoporosis

Menopausia

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A partir de la menopausia, con la reducción de estrógenos, comienza una pérdida de masa ósea que puede ir desarrollándose con la edad. Una dieta rica en calcio, la práctica habitual de ejercicio o el tratamiento con una terapia hormonal sustitutiva pueden prevenir su aparición o retrasarla.


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El calcio y el fósforo son dos minerales esenciales para la formación normal del hueso. A lo largo de la juventud, el cuerpo utiliza estos minerales para producirlo.

Si el calcio que se obtiene de la dieta no es suficiente, nuestro organismo puede reabsorber el calcio y el fósforo directamente de los huesos, lo que hace que el tejido óseo se debilite y provoque huesos frágiles y quebradizos, más propensos a las fracturas, incluso sin que se presente un traumatismo.

Además, a partir de la menopausia, los ovarios dejan de producir estrógenos, por lo que el tejido óseo va adelgazando y no es capaz de formar suficiente hueso nuevo. Con el tiempo los huesos pierden densidad, y el riesgo de roturas y traumatismos aumenta.

En ambos casos surge la osteoporosis, que es el tipo más común de enfermedad ósea y que afecta principalmente a las mujeres después de la menopausia.

Por lo general, la perdida ósea ocurre de manera gradual en un periodo de varios años y muchas veces la persona sufrirá una fractura antes de darse cuenta de la presencia de la enfermedad. Cuando esto ocurre, habitualmente la osteoporosis ya se encuentra en su etapa avanzada y el daño es grave.

 Tipos de osteoporosis

  • Osteoporosis primaria o involuntaria, que a su vez puede ser:
    1. Posmenopáusica o tipo I: Se produce en la mujer como consecuencia del cese de la función ovárica, siendo características las fracturas vertebrales por aplastamiento y las fracturas de la extremidad distal del antebrazo.
    2. Senil o tipo II: se produce en ambos sexos, en edades más avanzadas. Es consecuencia de la pérdida de cantidad y calidad ósea. Ocurre progresivamente y tiene lugar con el transcurso de los años. En este caso la pérdida ósea no es tan acelerada como el tipo I.
  • Osteoporosis secundaria: La originan otras causas distintas a la menopausia y la edad, como enfermedades endocrinas, gastrointestinales, hematológicas… incluso por estar mucho tiempo inmovilizado o por el uso de algunos fármacos.

Causas de la osteoporosis

Es una enfermedad en la que participan distintos factores: elementos ambientales, nutricionales y genéticos. La principal causa de la osteoporosis es la disminución de los niveles de estrógenos en las mujeres a partir de la menopausia.

También el envejecimiento, la herencia genética y una dieta deficiente en calcio. Este alimento es fundamental en la formación de hueso y los alimentos que lo contienen son los lácteos (leche y derivados), el pescado azul y los frutos secos.

Síntomas

  • Deformaciones de la columna vertebral
  • Dolor muscular
  • Fracturas y debilidad ósea
  • Dolor en el cuello
  • Pérdida de talla y peso

Prevenir la osteoporosis

Si te preocupa este problema aquí tienes algunas recomendaciones:
Desde hace relativamente poco, existe un análisis genético que permite conocer el riesgo de padecer esta patología antes de que se desarrolle, teniendo así la oportunidad de retrasar la aparición de los síntomas al contrarrestar el agente que la provoque con hábitos alimentarios, ejercicio…
El estudio es muy sencillo y no invasivo. Se toma una muestra de saliva y su resultado es rápido y válido para toda la vida. Está indicado a todas las mujeres a partir de los 35 años, especialmente a aquellas que tengan familiares que ya estén diagnosticados de osteoporosis (también hombres) o que padezcan alcoholismo, neoplasias, enfermedades reumáticas, inmovilización o tratamiento con glucocorticoides.
Este análisis genético permite prevenir la osteoporosis, y ayuda en el diagnóstico y en el tratamiento.

Fuente: Dra. Conchita Vidales

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