Osteoporosis is a common condition of the bones. The bones in our body are living tissues that are regularly being broken and replaced. Osteoporosis happens when more bone cell mass is being removed than created.
The osteoporosis condition affects all men and women all over the world. It usually occurs when the body is not making enough bones, or you are losing bone or both.
Broken bones as a result of osteoporosis can happen mostly in the wrist, spine and hip though bones can break into other areas also. It may lead to severe pain that does not go away easily. In some people, the condition may cause the patient to lose height and have a hunched posture. Osteoporosis often prevents a person from moving around easily and may disrupt some daily activities. It may lead to feelings of isolation and other health issues too.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
It is not possible to detect any signs of bone loss in the early stages of the disease. After the disease has advanced considerably, you may experience the following signs:
- Weight loss
- Back pain
- Hunched or stooped posture
During younger years, the body makes bones faster than it loses; this increases the bone mass. The chances of your developing Osteoporosis depend to an extent on the amount of bone mass you collected during your younger years. The higher the quantity of bone mass in your body, the lesser is the risk of you developing osteoporosis. It is, therefore, important to take good care of your health and include a nourishing calcium rich diet and an exercise regimen in your life from a young age.
Keep in mind, having the disease does not necessarily mean that your bones will break, but it does increase your chances of a fracture. While weak bones may not be painful, but a fracture can cause pain and lead to other issues too.
Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
Several factors can increase the chances of your developing osteoporosis, such as age, race, lifestyle choices, and medical conditions and treatments. Certain risk factors are out of our control such as:
Race – If you are of an Asian descent or are white, you have more chances of getting osteoporosis.
Sex – Women are more likely to contract the condition.
Age – The older you are, the greater is your risk of osteoporosis.
Family history – If either of your parents is suffering from osteoporosis, you run a risk of having the condition.
The structure of the body – People who are smaller in height are at a greater risk as they have less bone mass to depend on as they grow older.
Hormones – When some hormones are present or absent in significant quantities, it can lead to osteoporosis. In women, decreased levels of estrogen increase the risk of osteoporosis. For men, decreased levels of testosterone as they age or during some cancer treatments can also lead to the condition.
Thyroid issues – Large quantities of thyroid hormone in the body can lead to bone loss.
Overactive glands – Overactive adrenal and parathyroid glands can also lead to osteoporosis.
Diet problems – Reduced calcium intake is a major contributor in developing osteoporosis. People suffering from eating disorders are also at a higher risk.
Medications – Osteoporosis have also been associated with medications used to manage seizures, gastric reflux, cancer and transplant rejection.
Sedentary lifestyle – People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
Alcohol – Drinking & Smoking increases your chances of developing the disease and leads to weak bones.
You can take some steps to prevent osteoporosis, such as:
- Engaging in a daily regimen of exercises
- Including a healthy diet, especially foods that are rich in Vitamin D and calcium
- Making certain lifestyle changes such as being active, reducing smoking and drinking
During the growing up years, the body requires calcium to build strong, healthy bones and create a good quantity of calcium reserve. Creating more bone mass when you are young helps to lower the risk of osteoporosis. Bones need exercise to stay strong. Exercises from an early age can go a long way in minimizing loss of bone and offering several health benefits.
Osteoporosis treatment includes medications to strengthen the bones and preventing fractures. Your doctor will examine your scan report and take into account your age and other factors for a proper osteoporosis diagnosis and prescribing the treatment for you.
Osteoporosis is often referred as the silent disease as no one can identify the loss of their bone calcium. If you have broken a bone recently or you are experiencing loss of height, or if your back is curved forward, consult your doctor as soon as possible.