Osteoporosis Overview

Osteoporosis is a health condition in which the thickness of the bones is reduced and they become more prone to fracture.   The bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced significantly which disrupts the bone micro architecture and alters the number of non-collagenous proteins in the bone. Osteoporosis results in fragile, porous, and week bones. The components like protein, collagen, and calcium that make the bones and give them the strength are lessened and this causes osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can cause the bones to break, crack, or collapse even by a small injury. The common areas in which the serious fractures occur are spine, hips, and wrists. Women are more prone Osteoporosis especially when they have reached their menopause stage. The condition is called postmenopausal osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can occur in both men and women.

Common Symptoms of Osteoporosis

There are no particular symptoms of Osteoporosis apart from fractures in different skeleton bones. Sometimes this bone disease is not detected for years and patients are not aware of their condition until the problem is serious or there is a server painful fracture. Osteoporosis can be identified from the areas in which the fractures occur.

  • Spine fractures that result in severe back pain and hunched-back can be Osteoporosis
  • Minimal trauma fracture occurred in course of normal activity can be a sign of Osteoporosis
  • Hip fractures caused due to falling or a trivial accident can be a symptom of Osteoporosis

Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis

Prevention is the treatment of osteoporosis as there is nothing that can completely rebuild the bones. Early detection can help to reduce the risk of fractures and taking adequate amount of calcium and vitamin can help to increase bone density and strength. Medications that can help to make the bones strong, such as alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), raloxifene (Evista), ibandronate (Boniva), calcitonin (Calcimar), and zoledronate (Reclast) can be helpful for osteoporosis patients.

Some of the preventive measures that an osteoporosis patient must take are:

  • Take a protein and calcium rich balance diet and exercise regularly.
  • Curtail alcohol intake and quit cigarette smoking.
  • Intake of calcium supplements can help in building strong and healthy bones.

Diagnosis of Osteoporosis

Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) is the most common process that is used to diagnosis osteoporosis. In addition to this certain blood tests and X-rays are done to check the acuteness of the problem. All tests must be performed by highly experienced doctors, who have complete knowledge of the disease and are experts in the field.

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