Osteoporosis - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Your bones consist of tissues that continuously repair themselves and grow. In osteoporosis, your body does not keep up with the lost cells and the newly made ones. Osteoporosis is a condition in which thinning of your bones occurs, causing them to become weak and brittle up to the extent that even a light fall can result in a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures often happen in the hip bone, wrist, or spine. It can occur in both genders, but it is more common in women, especially in the menopausal or postmenopausal age groups. To prevent it, you should eat a healthy diet abundant in calcium and vitamin D and do strength-bearing exercises that strengthen your bones and prevent bone loss. 


Symptoms 


In the early stages of bone loss, there are no symptoms. But as the disease progresses, it may start to cause bothersome symptoms. Osteoporosis may cause the following signs and symptoms;


  • Back pain- mostly due to fractured bones or collapsed vertebra

  • Loss of height over time 

  • Getting fracture easily, even on just a light fall

  • A stooped posture


Causes 


Your bones constantly renew themselves. The old cells replace with the new ones. Therefore they have the ability to heal even after getting broken. When you are young, in the 20s of your age, the bones renew themselves fast. While as you age, this process gets slower. It is the reason that it takes longer to heal if any bone injury occurs in old age. 


Osteoporosis can occur in anyone. But the possible causes can be;


Hyperthyroidism 

Taking long-term corticosteroids- people having inflammatory diseases like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, idiopathic thrombotic purpura, and many others diseases need to take them for disease management. In return, they can cause thinning of bones. If you have any inflammatory condition, and you need to take corticosteorids, your healthcare provider must keep a check on your bone density through a DEXA scan. 


Risk factors


The risk factors for osteoporosis can be;


Sex- women are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis as compared to men.

Age- as you age, the risk of it increases. It happens because your bone cells take more time to regrow and repair.

Race- white and Asian people are at more risk of developing osteoporosis.

Family history- if anyone in your family, parents, or siblings have osteoporosis, the risk of it for you increases.

Body frame- men and women with small body frames are at more risk of developing osteoporosis.

Menopause- women at the menopausal stage, are at risk of developing osteoporosis because their estrogen hormone levels decline which helps strengthen the bones

Overactive thyroid gland- being hyperthyroid can also put you at risk of developing osteoporosis because it produces too much thyroid hormone

Eating disorder- having an eating disorder like bulimia nervosa can lead to osteoporosis because your body does not get enough nutrition

Low calcium diet- the risk for osteoporosis increases if you consume a low calcium diet. To consume enough calcium, you must drink one to two glasses of milk in a day. 


Other risk factors for osteoporosis are;


  • Gastrointestinal surgery

  • Taking long term corticosteroids

  • Having medical conditions like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, lupus, kidney or liver disease, cancer, multiple myeloma, or rheumatoid arthritis

  • Excessive alcohol consumption

  • Living a sedentary lifestyle

  • Smoking cigarettes


Prevention 


To prevent it, you should eat a healthy diet abundant in calcium and vitamin D and do strength-bearing exercises that strengthen your bones and help prevent bone loss. 


Conclusion 


Osteoporosis is a condition in which thinning of your bones occurs, causing them to become weak and brittle up to the extent that even a light fall can result in a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures often happen in the hip bone, wrist, or spine. It can occur in both genders, but it is more common in women, especially in the menopausal or postmenopausal age groups.


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