Osteoporosis is the reduction in the thickness or declining of the bones density due to loss of tissues. This condition can show generalized loss of bone tissues and is characterized by easy fracture of bones. It can also be called as brittle bone disease.
The quantity of calcium deposits in bone diminish over time cause bone framework to deteriorate. This disease is a silent condition as it is unidentified until a fracture occurs. Hip fracture is the most common fracture to occur.
The pronouncement osteo is derived from the Greek word Osteon meaning bone and the word porosis is derived from the Greek word poros meaning opening or passage way.
Causes and risk factors:
Bones develop well in the early stages or younger ages and maintain balance in bone tissue loss and reformation until we reach the adult hood. After the early adulthood stage the balance starts declining in turn decreasing the bone tissue mass and weakens the whole skeleton framework of the body. The density of bone is less as we grow older.
- Commonly seen in men and women and in older aged peoples.
- Low level or Loss of estrogen after the menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis in women.
- Loss of testosterone in men also increases the risk.
- Family history of hip fracture.
- Hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid)
- Hyperparathyroidism(over active parathyroid)
- Disturbances in pituitary gland functions.
- Cushing`s syndrome (disorder of adrenal gland )
- Over dosage of corticosteroid treatment for other diseases.
- Alcohol addiction
- Chain smoking
- Mal nutrition and mal absorption of essential calcium and minerals needed for bone tissues.
- Other drugs used long time for treating other diseases like cancer.
- Lack of exercise and body movement or activities.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (generalized inflammation of joints)
Symptoms of osteoporosis:
As osteoporosis is the silent disease it shows no prominent symptoms or signs until the fracture sequence occur. A normal person can withstand a fall, but fragile and weak bones cannot withstand a fall and produce fracture with slight fall or pressure.
The majority of significantly seen fractures are hip, wrist and vertebral fractures.
Even a sneeze or cough can cause pressure on the ribs to fracture and directly influence the fractional collapse of vertebra’s.
In the old ages people bent position is prominently seen due to lack of support from the spine bones.
Later stages show some mild pain the back regions.
Diagnosis and tests:
It is better to visit your doctor if any pain felt in the bone and muscles without any reasons. Especially women after menopause should consult a doctor for the hormone imbalance remedies.
Doctors conduct various physical examinations to detect osteoporosis.
Most commonly bone mineral density test is done to check for the prediction of osteoporosis before and after the fracture had occurred. Before fracture if identified we can avoid fractures.
SXA – single energy X-ray absortiometry , this measures the bone density in the smaller areas like heel and shin bones. When the bone loss is identified then the DXA is done to confirm osteoporosis.
DXA – dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, this measure bone density in the hip and spine regions.
After all the tests and physical examinations doctor will conclude the treatment modalities and suitable changes.
Osteoporosis needs doctors advice and he will decide according to the patient conditions. A wide-ranging interference is needed to make a decision of the treatment plan.
Calcium and vitamin D supplementation should be done to replace the loss of bone tissues.
Hormone replacement therapy is the second line treatment as of now, Mostly estrogen replacement in women and testosterone replacement in men.
Certain modification of lifestyle to be free from trauma occurrences
Drugs used for osteoporosis:
Bisphosphonates: This group of drugs used t slow down the rate of bone loss. The most commonly used drugs are alendronate (fosamax) and disodium etidronate(didronel (PMO).
Other drugs used only for women after menopause are risedronate (actonel) and ibandronate(bonviva).
Strontium ranelate: used mostly in women who cannot be suitable for the bisphophonates.
Calcitonins: these areused as a injection or nasal spray to treat osteoporosis, mainly to reduce the pain after the fractures. It focus on the increasing the calcium stores in the bones.
Calcitriol: these drugs are vitamin D composite to treat the osteoporosis due to long term use of steroidal drugs.
Teriparatide: this is a parathyroid hormone drug used to increase the calcium in the bones.
How to prevent osteoporosis:
Prevention of osteoporosis requires various changes we need to implement in our life style right from the living ways of our life.
- Eat healthy and nutritious food
- Diet should have adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D.
- Maintain a regular plan of exercise
- Indulge daily in physical activities
- Keep regular checkups as you age, especially in women after the menopause.
- Reduce the alcohol consumption
- Reduce the smoking habit
- Avoid unnecessary drugs and illegal drugs
- Reduce stress level to keep hormones in balance.
Osteoporosis is completely and easily curable if detected earlier in life. It is the universal illness that responds to prevention and treatments.
Our bodys aging process cannot be stopped, but we can respond to it in a healthy manner and cope with it.
Awareness is the only mode to respond easily and quickly to this condition. Worldwide awareness needed to be created across every country to keep their nation healthy and free from osteoporosis.