Osteoporosis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
An adult body contains a total of 206 bones. They deliver structure to our bodies, help us to move in different manners, safeguard our internal organs, and more. The well-being of our bones is an important aspect to live a happier life. Even a minor crack or break in the bone can upset our daily-life activities. Some diseases can make an adverse impact on bone health. Here, you will get to know about osteoporosis.
What Is Osteoporosis?
You can simply understand the meaning of osteoporosis as porous bones. It is a bone disease where the bones become weak and susceptible to break from a fall. Even in severe cases, a person may experience a fracture from sneezing or minor bumps. A crack or break in the bone can lead to pain, disability, and problems in everyday activities. In this condition, the bones lose their strength, become thin, and less dense.
There is a presence of small spaces in healthy bones. When examined through a microscope, they look similar to a honeycomb. When osteoporosis takes place, the size of holes or spaces becomes much larger than in a healthy bone. Consequently, it causes the bone to lose density and strength. Along with that, the outside of the bone becomes thinner and weaker.
Key Points About Osteoporosis
- This disease can happen to any age group, but it is more common in older peoples.
- As compared to men, women are more at risk of developing it.
- Those who suffer from osteoporosis need to take special care. As they are more prone to experience fractures in usual activities like walking or standing.
- Though it can affect several bones in our body, but the commonly affected ones are the hips, ribs, wrist, and spine.
Negative Impacts of Osteoporosis
- When it affects the vertebrae or bones of the spine, a person may face a stooped or hunched posture.
- In some cases, osteoporosis can lead to losing height.
- It can contribute to limit mobility that gives rise to feelings like depression and isolation.
- In severe cases, people need to take help from long-term nursing home care.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis refers to a silent disease. That’s why, in many cases, a person doesn’t identify he’s suffering from this problem until he experiences a fracture. This condition has affected around 200 million people all over the world. It is also responsible for millions of fractures each year. Some of the symptoms of osteoporosis include:
* Change in posture
* Bone fracture
* Lower back pain symptoms
* Loss of height
* Shortness of breath
* A bone that breaks easily than supposed
Even there can be a presence of some other symptoms of osteoporosis like receding gums, weak and brittle nails, and weakened grip strength. Sometimes, a person can have a family history of osteoporosis. If he knows this thing, consulting a health care provider will be a good idea. Since talking to a healthcare professional will be helpful to assess the risk.
If someone doesn’t achieve proper treatment, this condition can worsen. In cases of severe osteoporosis, you may experience these symptoms.
* Fracture from a fall
* Fracture from a cough or sneeze
* Back or neck pain
These fractures can take place because a severe condition of osteoporosis leads to make the bones thinner and weaker. While having a fracture from osteoporosis, the healing time will be based on several factors. Like the place of a fracture, age, patient’s health history, and how severe it is.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Right from birth till adulthood, the development and growth of our bones continue. The early 20s is the time when they become strongest and densest. At such times, there are fewer outcomes of getting a fracture. Our bones continue to renew throughout life in which the new bones replaces the older one. This activity helps to keep the skeleton stronger. But when there is an occurrence of osteoporosis, the bones become unable to replace. It means they become brittle and are more prone to break. That’s why; it becomes important to keep a strict eye on the health of your bones and remembering the factors that can put you at the risk of osteoporosis.
A lot of causes are there to explore in the case of osteoporosis. Firstly, we mentioned that women are more likely to face this condition more often than men. Secondly, a thin and small body frame is also regarded as one of the causes of osteoporosis. Next, having a family history of osteoporosis, smoking habits, intake of alcohol, lack of exercise, a diet that is low in calcium, poor nutrition, and poor general health are some other causes.
During menopause (a condition in women), there can be a presence of low estrogen levels in the body. This can also uplift the chances of osteoporosis. Even early surgical removal of both the ovaries can also contribute to the same. Chemotherapy in women can also be a factor in such cases. There is a condition named hyperthyroidism. Here, too much thyroid hormone is generated in the thyroid gland or is consumed as thyroid hormone medication. Another condition, hyperparathyroidism refers to a disease in which extreme parathyroid hormone production takes place by the parathyroid gland. The parathyroid gland refers to a small gland that is situated near or within the thyroid gland. When someone has the presence of hyperparathyroidism and is left untreated, too much parathyroid hormone can cause too much calcium to be eliminated from the bone. If it happens, a person can suffer from osteoporosis. Sometimes, using certain medications can also give rise to osteoporosis. For example, using blood thinners for a longer time, some antileisure medicines, or long-term usage of oral corticosteroids.
Who Is At The Risk of Developing Osteoporosis?
A lot of events can put you in an uncomfortable state of osteoporosis. But two of them are most popular, i.e., age and gender. Women who cross the age of 50 or postmenopausal women are at the greatest risk of developing osteoporosis. Even men aging over 50 also have the likelihood to suffer from the same. Secondly, you have read about thin and small body frames as the causes of osteoporosis. This is because such people have less bone to lose as compared to people with more weight and larger frames. The next thing is about family history. If your father or grandfather has any signs of osteoporosis, like a fracture after a minor fall. Then you also need to be attentive.
One more important thing to remember in this case is the usage of steroids. Steroid medicines are used to treat some conditions, but they can also contribute to bone loss and osteoporosis. They are known to be steroids, corticosteroids, and glucocorticoids. They are different from anabolic steroids which are male hormones used by some athletes. Steroids are often supervised to relieve inflammation. But, taking such medicines regularly for three months or more in a dose of 5mg can put you in osteoporosis. That’s why; you need to be aware of this point and should talk with the health care professional.
Conditions That Can Lead To Bone Loss
Do you know a lot of health and medical problems can put you at risk of osteoporosis? We are mentioning some conditions and diseases by which you can take an idea. If you have any of these conditions, make sure to consult your doctor about ways to keep the bones healthy. In such cases, you can prefer to visit Mewar Hospitals.
Digestive and gastrointestinal disorders: weight loss surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease
Hematologic/ blood disorders: sickle cell disease, multiple myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma
Medical procedures: gastrointestinal bypass procedures, gastrectomy
Neurological/nervous system disorders: Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injuries
Cancer: prostate cancer, breast cancer
Autoimmune disorders: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, ankylosing spondylitis, lupus.
Endocrine/hormonal disorders: irregular periods, premature menopause, diabetes, thyrotoxicosis, lower levels of estrogen and testosterone in men
Other conditions: weight loss, chronic kidney disease, depression, thalassemia, eating disorders, poor diet including malnutrition, AIDS/HIV, liver disease including biliary cirrhosis, polio, and post-polio syndrome.
Diagnosis of Osteoporosis
Diagnosis of osteoporosis in an earlier time is beneficial in different ways. Since a single fractured bone can lead to possibilities of another broken bone which can contribute to disability and loss of independence. With the help of early diagnosis, a patient can be treated more effectively and can be saved from further fractures.
For checking whether you have osteoporosis, the doctor will execute a physical exam. He will also review the medical history. Even a person may need to go through blood and urine tests so it will be helpful to check for conditions that can cause bone loss. If you are at risk of developing osteoporosis or suffering from it, the doctor may suggest a bone density test.
What Is A Bone Density Test?
This kind of test is known as bone densitometry, or dual X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Here, an X-ray comes under use to determine the bone density in the spine, hips, or wrists. This is because such regions in our bodies are more at risk of osteoporosis.
Treatment of Osteoporosis
One of the major objectives behind the treatment of osteoporosis focuses on the prevention of bone fractures by reducing bone loss. Or it can be due to increasing bone strength and density. If osteoporosis is detected early and timely treatment is done, it will help to reduce the hazard of future fractures. Remember, osteoporosis can’t be treated completely. And there are no measures to completely rebuild the bones been weakened by it. That’s why one of the important things before the treatment of osteoporosis is prevention.
Still, osteoporosis’ treatment is based on:
* Preventing fractures
* Reducing pain
* Maintaining healthy bone mineral density and bone mass
* Slowing down and preventing the growth of osteoporosis
*Maximizing the capability of a person to carry on with his daily life
There is an availability of some drugs that can support in preventing and treating osteoporosis. For example, estrogen agonists or antagonists, calcitonin, parathyroid hormones, or monoclonal antibodies.
Besides the treatment plan, a suitable diet is a helpful method to strengthen the bones. Make sure to include the things having a presence of nutrients in your daily diet. Two of the most important nutrients that you need to follow for healthy bones are vitamin D and calcium. Calcium is one of the important assets to preserve strong bones. On the other side, it requires vitamin D to absorb calcium. Some other nutrients that are beneficial for our bone health include protein, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin K. To know the best diet plan according to your condition, you can visit Mewar Hospitals and talk to our professionals. They will guide you to have a perfect meal plan that will encourage bone health and overall well-being.
Prevention of Osteoporosis
You can go for some lifestyle changes for the prevention of osteoporosis.
- If someone is in a habit to smoke, they need to quit with a quicker approach. This activity lessens down the growth of new bone and reduces estrogen levels in women.
- Save yourself from alcohol that will help you to prevent falls and encourage healthy bones.
- Give some time to walking as it encourages healthy bones and strengthens their support from muscles.
Exercises for Osteoporosis
Along with eating, it is very important to consider exercising regularly. Remember, weight-bearing exercises are worth supporting the health of our bones. You can perform some training at home by climbing stairs. Otherwise, there some resistance training options like squats, pushups, and leg presses, etc. are there. In weight training exercises, you can go for resistance bands, dumbbells, and resistance exercise machines. Apart from benefitting the bones, exercise will also promote a balanced weight and good heart health. One of the major causes of fractures in the case of osteoporosis is a fall. So, when you’ll perform an exercise, it will develop coordination and balance which will assist to prevent falls.
Mewar Hospitals -The Name You Can Trust Upon
We hope you would have learned a lot about osteoporosis from the given sources. If anything is still there in mind regarding osteoporosis, you can come and meet our doctors.
The team of Mewar Hospital will try to assist you in the prevention of osteoporosis so you could lead a comfortable and happier life.
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