Literally translated as “porous bone,” osteoporosis. Porous denotes having many holes. As we age, our bones get thinner. Bones that have osteoporosis become highly fragile and brittle. Until the bone fractures, it often becomes worse over a lengthy period of time without any pain or other symptoms. It is sometimes referred to as a “silent illness” since there are no symptoms in the early stages and it advances without any noticeable signs.
Hip, spine, and wrist fractures account for the majority of these fractures. Most broken bones are caused by falls, but people with osteoporosis can also break bones by sneezing, coughing, or moving quickly. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can cause a lot of pain and long-term problems, and they can even be fatal.
Every year on October 20th, people all around the globe commemorate World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) to raise awareness of osteoporosis prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Osteoporosis and fracture prevention are WOD’s top global health priorities.
What is osteoporosis?
Living tissue is a bone. As a result of healthy bones, old bones are naturally replaced by new ones. They maintain their vigor in this way. In a process called “bone resorption,” osteoclasts break down old bones and put minerals back into the bloodstream. On the other hand, a process known as bone ossification or osteogenesis is when osteoblasts create new bones. Osteoporosis is brought on by an imbalance between bone ossification and bone resorption.
Bone reabsorption outpaces bone development in osteoporosis. How likely it is to get osteoporosis depends on how strong your bones were when you were young. Peak bone mass varies by ethnic group and is partially hereditary. By the age of 30, bone mass often reaches its peak. One has more bone “in the bank” and is less prone to developing osteoporosis as one age if their peak bone mass is larger.
What are the risk factors?
Men are equally susceptible to osteoporosis, although elderly women are more likely to get it. Over the age of 65, osteoporosis will cause one in three women and one in five men to break a bone. The following are risk factors for osteoporosis in addition to age and sex:
• Early menopause
• Being underweight (body mass index below 19)
• Medical conditions associated with osteoporosis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, breast or prostate cancer, or certain digestive diseases
• Medications causing osteoporosis, such as longer-term daily use of glucocorticoids (steroids)
• Parental history of hip fracture or osteoporosis
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Smoking and excessive drinking
• Poor dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D
• Previous fracture
• Ethnicity: Caucasian and Asian people are more likely to develop it.
What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?
Although osteoporosis is a silent disease, the following signs and symptoms should be kept in mind:
• Loss of height (getting shorter by an inch or more).
• Posture change (stooping or bending forward).
• Difficulty breathing (reduced lung capacity due to compressed disks).
• Bone fractures.
• Lower back discomfort
How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
Osteoporosis is diagnosed through bone mineral density (BMD) examinations, sometimes referred to as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA or DXA) scans. To assess the stability of the spine, hip, or wrist bones, these X-rays emit extremely tiny doses of radiation.
A bone density test should be performed on all women and men over the age of 70. For both men and women who have osteoporosis risk factors, the DEXA scan may be performed sooner.
How is osteoporosis treated?
The goals for treating osteoporosis are to slow or stop bone loss and to prevent fractures.
• Pro nutrition.
• Lifestyle changes.
• Fall prevention to aid in the prevention of fractures.
The treatment should be individualized and tailored to each patient’s needs.