Osteoporosis is a condition in which your bones become weak, brittle or delicate. The condition is common in both men and women. This is a condition where your joints are highly influenced because of low bone density and increase the risk of fractures.
What are the signs and symptoms of osteoporosis?
In advance stages of osteoporosis, you may notice symptoms:
- Acute pain
- Sharp or dull pain restricting your movements
- Back pain
- Stooped posture
- Localized pain to the mid or lower thoracic region or upper lumbar spine
- Pain in groin
- Easy bone fractures
- Knee pains
- Pain in the buttocks region
- Decreased range of motion
What are the causes of Osteoporosis?
Advanced age is the biggest cause of osteoporosis. The body, throughout the life cycle, breaks down old bone and it grows new bone. But when you are in your 40s, the body begins breaking down bone faster than its ability to replace it. This leads to the bone that is less dense and more fragile. This leads to more breakage.
Menopause in women is another major cause of osteoporosis that happens around the ages of 45 to 55 years. As there is a change in the hormone levels associated with menopause, it can cause a woman’s body to lose bone more quickly.
Certain medical conditions
Certain medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism can cause osteoporosis. Long term use of certain medications such as prednisone or cortisone can also cause osteoporosis.
The primary causes of osteoporosis are age, menopause, and certain medical conditions and medications, but there are also other causes that lead to osteoporosis.
What are the different risk factors for osteoporosis?
The following are the biggest risk factors for osteoporosis:
- A family history of osteoporosis
- Being a woman
- Physical inactivity
- Certain medical conditions
- Taking certain medications
How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
The doctor will review the medical history of the patient to check for osteoporosis. The patient will be asked to get the urine and blood tests done to check for conditions that cause bone loss. If the doctor thinks that the patient has osteoporosis or is at the risk of developing it, they will suggest a bone density test. This particular test also called bone densitometry or dual energy X ray absorptiometry (DEXA). X rays are used to measure the density of the bones in the hips, wrists, or spine, as these are the major areas of risk of osteoporosis.
What is the treatment for Osteoporosis?
If you are diagnosed with the condition of osteoporosis, it may not be cured but the effects of the osteoporosis can be reduced. Certain medications, physiotherapy is prescribed and some lifestyle changes and weight management can prevent or delay the progress of the disease. The changes in lifestyle will include intake of calcium and Vitamin D and also getting appropriate exercise.
Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, proper treatment can help you protect and strengthen the bones. Treatments like hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures. By maintaining a regular nutritious diet, avoiding alcohol and smoking you can prevent the risk of the condition.