Osteoporosis means porous bone, is a disease characterized by fragile and brittle bones. When density and quality of bones decrease, hence chances of fractures increase. As bones are weak, mild stress such as bending over and coughing cause fractures. Osteoporosis-related fractures occur in the hip, wrist or spine. Calcium is a vital mineral for healthy bones. If the diet is inadequate in nutrition and lacks sufficient calcium, the bones become weak. It leads to a severe stage of osteoporosis.
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Around the world, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men above the age of 50 are at risk of an osteoporotic fracture. About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass. These people are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis. It affects men and women of all age groups, but the white and Asian women after menopause are more susceptible to this disease.
Bone is a living tissue that is in being a process of remodeling from our birth. The bone broke down and regenerated again. When you are young, the body makes new bone faster than old age. Osteoporosis occurs when the earlier bone mass is not replaced by new bone. The disease also depends on how much peak bone mass you got when you were young. The estrogen is essential for bone density in women. When the estrogen level reduces, the loss of bone mass accelerates.
As bone loss is a slow and painless process, it cannot be diagnosed that a person is developing osteoporosis. Therefore, it is called a silent disease. When it occurs in the body, the bone strength is lost, then some symptoms appear. One of the main symptoms is a fracture of the bone. Back pain due to the fractured or collapsed vertebra, loss of height over time, a stooped posture are its visible signs.
Many elements boost the risk of osteoporosis including age, lifestyle, medical treatment etc. Some elements are unchangeable and cannot be controlled. Gender matters a lot. Women are at higher risk than men. As you age, the chances of osteoporosis also increase. If a parent has osteoporosis or a fractured bone, the child will get it too at an older age. Thin and small body frames of both men and women cause a higher risk of bone mass loss.
Osteoporosis also relates to little hormonal secretion in the body such as low level of sex hormones. The reduced level of estrogen after menopause is one of the most influential risk factors. Low calcium intake, eating disorders, steroids, and other medications, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and excessive consumption of alcohol affect bone mass badly, and bone dissolves. People suffering from diseases like celiac diseases, severe kidney and liver diseases, lupus, and cancer are more vulnerable to develop osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease but causes many complications. The osteoporotic fractures are responsible for decreased quality of life, pain, lost workdays, and disability. Due to prolonged bed rest after fracture, the patient develops pneumonia and blood clots. These clots travel to the lungs. The nursing home cares and depression are other complications.
You need to see the doctor when you feel pain in bones or taking corticosteroids over the months or your parent has a fractured bone. X-ray of bones shows the osteoporosis because the osteoporotic bones are thinner as compared to healthy bones.
Proper nutrition and healthy exercise is vital for keeping bones healthy. People who have less sun exposure should take vitamin D supplements daily. Exercise keeps the bone secure and reduces bone loss. Osteoporosis is an irreversible disease, but lifestyle modifications and a balanced diet can increase bone mass.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!