Bone Osteoporosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

shape your waist Bone Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bone becomes porous due to loss of density. Normally, a bone is as hard as a block but with bone osteoporosis, this block becomes so soft like a sponge making it very prone to breaking or fractures. Very light activities like coughing, lifting a light object, and bending which normally do not cause fracture will cause fracture if you have bone osteoporosis. Decrease in calcium, protein, and collagen in bones is the cause for its density loss.

There is an increased frequency of bone osteoporosis in women. It is a disease which commonly affects women after menopause, averagely above 50 years old. This incident is due to decreased production of the hormone when they reach this age. Estrogen plays a very significant role in maintaining bone density. Thus, menopausal women who are taking estrogen supplements have lower tendencies to develop fractures.

Although known to be a disease of women, there are other causes that affect not just the female gender. Causes of bone osteoporosis include low testosterone levels in men and low estrogen levels in women, family history of bone osteoporosis, ethnicity, other hormonal imbalances, deficiency in calcium and/or vitamin D, malnutrition, smoking, medications like corticosteroids and anti-seizure drugs, unhealthy lifestyle, thyroid and parathyroid problems, alcohol abuse, intestinal disorders, and kidney disorders.

Diagnosis of bone osteoporosis is made through physical exam, x-ray, laboratory tests on metabolic parameters, and the most definitive test is the bone density test.

Bone osteoporosis is also known as the "silent disease" as it shows no early symptoms. Most of the time, signs and symptoms of osteoporosis manifest themselves when the disease is already in its late stage and when bones are already broken. When major bones such as the spine, hips, and bones of the legs are brittle, most symptoms of osteoporosis affect mobility and posture. The signs and symptoms of bone osteoporosis include decreased height and stooped posture, fractures, leg cramps especially at night, bone pain and tenderness along the bone area, neck pain, abdominal pain, rib pain, and periodontal disease and tooth loss.

For bone osteoporosis, preventive management is very important because there is still no existing cure for this disease. Ways to prevent osteoporosis include eating foods high in calcium, vitamins, and minerals especially Vitamin D, regular exercise, lifestyle modifications like not smoking and limiting alcohol intake.

On the other hand, if a person is identified to have osteoporosis, treatment options are hormonal replacement, medications, and therapies. Hormone Replacement Therapy was initially a preventive management for postmenopausal osteoporosis but it has also gained reputation on bone osteoporosis treatment. Hormonal Replacement Therapy is known to slow bone loss and even regain bone density. The hormones to be replaced are estrogen, progestin, and testosterone. There are also drugs involved in the treatment of bone osteoporosis, these drugs acts by slowing the rate of bone loss and improving bone density. Biphosponates like alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), risedronate (Actonel), and zoledonic acid (Reclast). For women, raloxifene (Evista), a selective estrogen receptor modulator acts the same way as biphosphonates. Calcitonin is a drug that regulates calcium and helps in bone formation while parathyroid hormone improves calcium absorption in the intestine and stimulates osteoclasts to reabsorb minerals into the bones. In cases of fractures in bone osteoporosis, physical therapies improve mobilization.

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