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OSTEOPOROSIS : Everything You Need to Know

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  • Osteoporosis literally means ‘porous bones ‘
  • Osteoporotic bones are highly brittle and break with the slightest stress such as bending or lifting an object
  • The amount of calcium, phosphorous and minerals are low in an osteoporotic bone leading to the decrease in the density and brittleness
  • More women than men are affected
  • The person having osteoporosis may be asymptomatic till he or she develops a fracture and then the patient complains of pain in that area
  • Fracture may develop in the vertebra leading to collapse of the vertebra and this may lead to loss of height and stooping posture
  • Bone are constantly remodeled and this cycle takes about 3-4 months .In osteoporosis the breakdown of the bone exceeds the making of the bone leading to thinner, less dense and weaker bones
  • The cause of osteoporosis are
  1. –decreased oestrogen after menopause
  2. -lack of vitamin D or insufficient Vitamin D
  3. -lack of regular exercise
  4. -Age – the higher the age the more are the chances of osteoporosis
  5. -Race
  6. -Family history – history of Osteoporosis in the family will increase the chances of osteoporosis

 

  • Other factors include – eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia, small frame, long term treatment  with  steroids for treatment of asthma, psoriasis, and arthritis  and lack of exercise can cause early and rapid development of osteoporosis
  • Hyperthyroidism can also cause excessive breakdown of bone leading to thin brittle bone
  • Long term use of anticoagulants is another cause
  • Stomach surgeries decrease the absorption of calcium and hence cause deficiency and this leads to decrease deposit of calcium in the bone and thin brittle bones and osteoporosis
  • Sedentary life style is another cause of osteoporosis
  • Excessive intake of alcohol can cause formation of weak and brittle bone
  • It is recommended that all menopausal women less than 65 years and all women over 65 should be  screened for osteoporosis
  • The best screening method for osteoporosis is DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry). This measures the density of the bone in the spine, wrist and the hip.
  • The patient should also undergo the bone health pane which includes – Calcium, Phosphorous, Alkaline phosphate, Vitamin D and Beta cross laps
  • Osteoporosis can be prevented by making lifestyle changes. Regular exercise, avoiding caffeine and excessive alcohol and quitting smoking can help in the prevention.
  • Some supplements also help in the prevention and these supplement should be regularly taken. These include daily intake of calcium and regular intake of Vitamin D

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