What is Osteoporosis?
Weak and brittle bones are the main characteristic of the health condition called as ‘Osteoporosis’. The term osteoporosis describes porous bones. In some cases of osteoporosis, the bones may become so brittle that even regular activities like coughing, bending and lifting vacuum may result in occurrence of fracture.
Causes of Osteoporosis condition
Most of the cases of osteoporosis occur from weak and brittle bones. These bones become weak and brittle due to inadequate levels of phosphorous, calcium and minerals in the bones.
Symptoms and Signs of Osteoporosis
Usually, there are no apparent symptoms during the initial stage of development of osteoporosis. However, the process of weakening the bones continues gradually. When this weakening exists for prolonged period, one may experience following symptoms, which are common in most cases. These symptoms include back pain, height loss accompanied with stooped posture and fractures to wrists, hips, vertebrae, or other joints
Strength of Bones
Density and mass are the major factors that decide bone strength. Density of bones is related, up to certain extent, to amount of bone constituents such as minerals, calcium and phosphorus. When there is deficiency of these factors the bone strength decreases.
The risk of developing osteoporosis can be reduced by undertaking regular physical activities such as swimming, running, hiking, Pilates etc. These activities help in enhancing bone density.
Risk Factors for occurrence of Osteoporosis
The risk of osteoporosis is related to bone mass of an individual, specifically, the bone mass he has during peak bone mass period (age between 25 years and 35 years) and how rapidly one loses it in the later stage of life. People with higher peak bone mass are on lower risk of developing osteoporosis, you lose bone in normal way of aging. There are certain medications that can cause osteoporosis.
Following are some other common risk factors.
- Early menopause
- People suffering from liver diseases, diabetes (type-1) and people with family history of osteoporosis are on higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
Diagnosis of Osteoporosis
Certain bone density tests are conducted to confirm development of osteoporosis. These tests are capable of measuring density of various body bones. If you experience some symptoms or suspect of developing osteoporosis, it is better to consult a doctor and undergo bone density test.
Health Complications related to Osteoporosis
Following are some of the common health complications which may be serious in nature.
- Spinal fractures
- Fractures of wrist or hips
- Compression of vertebrae. This could lead to stooped posture or loss of height
Treatment of Osteoporosis
There are some treatment options like medication, physical therapy and surgeries. Your doctor will decide best suitable treatment for you based on the nature and cause of the condition.
Some facts about Osteoporosis
- About fifty percent (one in two) women above the age of 50 years may have fractures related to osteoporosis
- Osteoporosis is considered as one of the most under-detected and under-treated health condition. Approximately 28 million people in the United States are on threat of developing this condition.
- In America alone, an estimated 1.5 million fracture cases are associated with osteoporosis.