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Osteoporosis: The disease that is underestimated by most women
Osteoporosis: The disease that is underestimated by most women

Unfortunately, osteoporosis (bone loss) is a women's disease: 80 percent of all those affected are women. It is therefore all the more important to take precautions in good time!

Osteoporosis: The disease that so many women get and that so many underestimate
Osteoporosis: The disease that so many women get and that so many underestimate

In the USA, osteoporosis, i.e. the loss of bone tissue, and its early detection is a huge issue. Unfortunately, there is still far too little education in Austria. And the numbers are dramatic: every third woman here develops it after menopause. However, a so-called DEXA measurement and possibly a special blood count should be carried out between the ages of 40 and 50. This way, there are comparative values for later and, if necessary, a tailor-made therapy can begin.

What is osteoporosis?

The word "osteoporosis" comes from ancient Greek and stands for "bone" and "pore". It is a disease of the bones that mainly occurs in old age. As a result, the bones become thinner, more porous and prone to breakage.

The following bones are most commonly affected by osteoporosis:

  • Spine
  • hip joint
  • wrist
  • upper arm
  • pool

Most people do not even notice when they have osteoporosis because the disease progresses slowly and slowly over the years and so the bones become more and more fragile, unnoticed. Once there, it involves stress in the form of pain, bed rest, and sometimes even permanent immobilization due to broken bones.

A distinction is also made between primary and secondary osteoporosis: The more common primary osteoporosis includes the disease after menopause and in old age. Secondary osteoporosis occurs, for example, as a result of metabolic diseases or hormonal disorders.


What are the causes of osteoporosis?

Change in hormonal balance

After the age of 30, the bone mass decreases annually by an average of 0.5 percent. Since women generally have poorer bone mass than men, this loss is particularly tragic for them.

80 percent of all those affected by osteoporosis are women. This decline is usually noticeable around three to six years after the menopause; before that, like a heart attack, there is protection by hormones.

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Vitamin D deficiency

New studies show: almost all of us suffer from vitamin D deficiency. The cold months, which only allow us a few rays of sun, are to blame. With the help of these, vitamin D is formed. And that in turn boosts the bone metabolism. This is important for the development of the skeleton in children and ensures good bone density in adults. For vitamin D production to work, sufficient light must hit as much skin as possible.

Other causes:

  • natural breakdown of bones with age
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • as a result of various diseases
  • as a result of long-term medication
  • Lack of exercise
  • Underweight

Who is particularly at risk of developing osteoporosis?


80 percent of all osteoporoses affect women after the menopause, with small-bony northern Europeans and smokers being particularly affected.

About 30% of all women develop primary osteoporosis after the menopause. Age osteoporosis is an equally common clinical picture for men from the age of 70. Oversized women are particularly at risk because they make less estrogen.

Too little movement

Are you currently sitting on the couch and flipping through the WOMAN at a leisurely pace? Better get up in between. Because we sit far too much: in the office, on the tram, in the waiting room, in front of the television. Sitting is potentially life-threatening. In addition to tension, back and joint problems, it causes a whole range of lifestyle diseases. Osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular problems, indigestion, diabetes, obesity, psychological stress and probably even cancer can be the result.

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How can I prevent osteoporosis?


Physical activity - ideally daily - protects against bone loss. The forces that act on the bone stimulate the bone-building cells to form new bone substance again. Above all, weight-bearing endurance exercises and muscle-building training as well as aerobics are recommended.

Diet & Lifestyle

Above all, calcium should be adequately supplied to the body: Milk, yoghurt, kale, fennel, broccoli, seeds and nuts are among other things very good sources of calcium.

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Magnesium (nuts, whole foods) and vitamin D (herring, salmon, avocado) can also reduce the risk. Since coffee promotes the excretion of calcium, it should not be consumed too much.

Heavy alcohol and tobacco consumption should be avoided.

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In addition, sufficient exposure to sunlight - at least half an hour a day is recommended - promotes vitamin D production in the skin. So, get out into the fresh air and soak up enough sun, as the UV light forms vitamin D in the skin.

Spend your lunch break outdoors on sunny days or walk home or to the beach after work and thus crank up vitamin D production.

Not an issue for doctors: women underestimate osteoporosis

Despite their increased risk, according to recent surveys, only a few women in German-speaking countries see osteoporosis as a danger to themselves: Only 15 percent of women over 65 years of age consider the bone disease to be a current risk among younger women between 55 and 64 years of age it is only eight percent.

During the menopause, the risk of illness increases due to the lack of estrogen. Nevertheless, 71 percent of women between the ages of 55 and 64 have not yet spoken to their doctor about osteoporosis, while the proportion of older women over 65 years of age is still high at 59 percent.

"Many women underestimate osteoporosis," said Dr. Stefan Kropff, Executive Medical Director of Amgen GmbH, who carried out the survey. "However, osteoporosis can severely impair mobility and quality of life in old age. Bone fractures, for example hip fractures, can lead to serious restrictions. Prevention, early diagnosis and individual therapies can contain the disease and improve quality of life."

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Osteoporosis: Simple Exercises for Strong Bones

In the following video, Olympic champion and athlete Heide Ecker-Rosendahl shows simple exercises for everyone to participate in. Because: Movement not only increases well-being, but also promotes bone structure.

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