Osteoporosis is a type of bone disorder
characterized by weak, brittle and porous bones. Weak bone
density ushers in this condition, and an estimated 10 million
people in the US suffer from Osteoporosis, while an additional
40 million have low bone density, or Osteopenia. This ailment
is prevalent in women and in older people over 50 years old,
and usually affects the bones of the spine, wrist and hips.
It is advisable to confirm
an early diagnosis of Osteoporosis before it fully develops
with full-blown symptoms. The heartening thing about this
disorder is that it can be detected early through bone density
scans. Those belonging to the high risk groups – women
and people in their middle age – should undertake testing
for the disease.
CT scans, Ultrasounds or DEXA
(dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) are some of the tests that
can be performed to measure bone density. Results of these
periodic tests can be compared over the years to determine
whether there has been any improvement or deterioration. Based
on test results, the physician can draw up a treatment programme
for the stage of the condition diagnosed.
High Risk Factors
There are various risk factors
that increase the risks of developing Osteoporosis. Early
recognition of these factors can be the first step towards
preventing the occurrence of the disease. These factors include:
1.) Gender – women are
more predisposed towards developing Osteoporosis.
2.) Genetics – a family
history of low bone density increases the risk for acquiring
3.) Lack of exercise –
leading a sedentary lifestyle may be conducive to the development
of porous bones.
4.) Unhealthy eating – Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
from having a poor diet can cause the early onset of Osteoporosis.
Tips for Preventing
1.) Regular exercise –
adequate exercise, particularly strength training, can develop
stronger bones which can counter the symptoms of Osteoporosis.
2.) A healthy and balanced
diet – especially one rich in Calcium and Vitamin D,
will go a long way in preventing Osteoporosis.
3.) Recognizing all the risk
factors – early detection of the disease and immediate
medical consultation can alleviate initial symptoms through
an effective treatment plan drawn up by a doctor.
Recommendations for Preventing Osteoporosis
Leading a healthy and well-balanced
life will prevent the occurrence of Osteoporosis much later.
However, little concern for one’s health will manifest
in a host of ailments, including Osteoporosis, as the body
continues to age. Osteoporosis is a preventable disease, and
keeping constant early vigilance of one’s health may
just be the cure.
Treatment for Osteoporosis
can be administered once the disease exhibits more cumbersome
symptoms. Although early prevention is preferable, several
types of treatments can deal with the condition, including
a medical remedy for porous bones. Osteoporosis can be treated
in all of its stages, and the different treatment options
1.) Hormone therapy –
works to replace hormone loss which is partially responsible
for low bone density.
2.) Bisphosphonates –
these drugs mimic the effect of hormone therapy. They prevent
bone loss and even restore lost bone mass. However, these
medications have side effects which include nausea and digestive
3.) Other Osteoporosis medications
– drugs like Cacitonin, Teraparatide and Tamoxifen can
treat the different types of the disease.
4.) Physical Therapy –
can help prevent additional bone loss and even develop new
bone tissue. It can enhance muscle and ligament strength for
the support of weak bones.
Fractures Caused by Osteoporosis
A person suffering from Osteoporosis
is prone to vertebral fractures. Most of these fractures are
painless, and some minor ones require little or no treatment.
However, in cases where vertebral fractures are painful in
the sufferer, painkillers may be prescribed, or a more natural
treatment option, like acupuncture, may be recommended to
relieve the back pain.
If the fracture is severe
in nature and affects spinal integrity, surgery may be a last
option. Vertebroplasty is one of the most common procedures
undertaken to repair a fractured vertebral bone. If the severity
of the fracture has resulted in spinal compression, or has
affected more than one spinal level, a procedure known as
kyphoplasty may be performed as well.
Unfortunately, most if not
all of the treatments for Osteoporosis can cause side-effects.
Prevention is considered the best treatment for the disease.
Having a healthy diet and regular exercise while younger will
prevent the onset of weak, porous and brittle bones in old
age. If treatment becomes necessary, consulting a doctor will
help in making a well-informed choice in the number of treatment
options available, including awareness of the various side-effects