Combating Osteoporosis: Is there a cure? Do you have treatment? How to prevent?

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones, making them more fragile, which naturally significantly increases the sufferer’s chance of suffering fractures.

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone skeleton characterized by low bone mass (porous bone). The initial conditions are called osteopenia and the more serious ones osteoporosis.

The disease appears when the body fails to form enough new bone material, or when too much material from old bones is reabsorbed by the body. The initial conditions are called osteopenia and the more serious ones osteoporosis.

Because of this, there is an accelerated loss of bone mass, resulting from a drop in the absorption of minerals and calcium by the body. It is very important to remember that like any other tissue in the body, bone is a living structure that needs to stay healthy and be constantly renewed.

In youth, with the great speed of formation, bones become strong and resistant. With age, bone reabsorption is accelerated, outpacing formation, which can leave the bone porous, fragile and not very resistant, which increases the risk of fractures.

Osteoporosis x arthritis x arthrosis³

Certain individuals confound the 3 terms, so we believe it means quite a bit to make a move to explain the distinction between them momentarily.

Arthritis is the term that describes several diseases that cause damage to the joints in the human body. Osteoarthritis, in turn, is also known as osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis. This is probably exactly where the confusion between the terms comes from, as they have similar names.

To simplify, we just need to point out that osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, it causes degeneration, or in other words, it causes wear and tear of the cartilage between the bones. This can cause friction between them to cause a lot of pain. Another not very rare condition is that osteoarthritis contributes to the joint leaving its normal position. It is one of the main causes of pain among the elderly and common in areas of high friction such as hands, spine, knees and hips.

Osteoporosis, then again, influences the bones and not the ligament. It would seem, when bones are solid, they are extremely thick, and yet have little spaces inside. In bones impacted by osteoporosis, the spaces are bigger, making the bones less safe.

People with osteoporosis have weaker bones. Typically does not report pain unless suffering a fracture. Spinal fractures are the ones that most commonly cause pain.

Is osteoporosis curable?

Unfortunately, the disease has no cure, but adequate treatment tends to contribute greatly to the patient’s quality of life. Therefore, the main objective of therapeutic resources is to reduce the loss of bone mass and strengthen healthy structures.

With an early diagnosis, the chances of treatment aimed at preventing new injuries increase, in addition, there will also be less concern about the side effects of the pathology, which are generally fractures. In any case, quite possibly of the greatest test in analysis is the absence of side effects, as we will see underneath.

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a silent disease, usually discovered late, such as when a fracture occurs. Therefore, the best way to avoid problems with osteoporosis are: preventive measures and early diagnosis, which we will talk about shortly.

For now, it is important to remember that there are some signs that may indicate that the disease is already present:

  • Fractures that occur with small impacts or gentle falls;
  • Bone pain or sensitivity (in an advanced stage of the disease or due to an unnoticed fracture);
  • Pain in the lower back and/or neck (which may indicate a spinal fracture);
  • Hunched posture, popularly known as “hunchback”;
  • Decrease in height over time.

How to prevent yourself?

As we have already said, prevention is essential, both to avoid the emergence of the pathology and to obtain an early diagnosis. Some interesting initiatives include:

  • Avoid risk factors that can be controlled: smoking, use of corticosteroids, etc.
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Take hormone replacement therapy when indicated;
  • Follow a balanced diet, with adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D;
  • Perform bone densitometry, an exam that allows you to measure and evaluate the condition, density and health of your bones. Under normal conditions, the exam is carried out from the age of 60 onwards.


The World Health Organization (WHO) proposes some important criteria for diagnosis: it involves assessing bone mass density – at least – in the lumbar spine, femur and forearm. To carry out this measurement, the patient undergoes a bone densitometry test, which we explained just now.

The doctor may also order other tests to diagnose the causes of osteoporosis, as this may contribute to treatment. Among these secondary exams, we can mention the following: measurement of creatinine, testosterone and estrogen.


The time has come to answer the last of the questions we proposed at the beginning of this article: questions related to the treatment of osteoporosis. The truth is that treatment includes different action plans, which range from medication to periodic exams and of course: the inevitable changes in lifestyle. We will summarize some of these initiatives here.


One of the first things the doctor will recommend is adjusting the menu. The objective is to ensure adequate intake of various vitamins and minerals, especially calcium. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet and include foods rich in calcium in your menu, such as: milk and its derivatives, sardines, dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, etc.

Vitamin D is also important, as it is responsible for adequate absorption and maintenance of good levels of calcium in the blood. It is produced in the skin after sun exposure, metabolized by the liver and activated in the kidneys. Like calcium, vitamin D can be supplemented with tablets.

Never self-medicate

Consult a doctor for diagnosis and prescription of medication. Treatment is individualized according to the stage of disease evolution and the person’s clinical conditions. In milder cases (osteopenia), the doctor may recommend measures aimed at changing habits, diet guidance and prescription of supplements with vitamin D and calcium. And in more advanced cases (osteoporosis) also recommend the use of medication to reduce the speed of bone resorption and sometimes to accelerate bone formation.

Physical exercises

We already talked about them in the prevention section, however, we cannot fail to mention them here again. Physical activities recommended by experts include running and walking, and localized exercises to increase muscular strength and endurance.  This is because they stimulate bone formation and prevent bone resorption. Water exercises, like swimming and water high impact exercise, are not as powerful.