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What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is defined as a disease of bones in which bony tissue is depleted more as compared to its new tissue formation. This depletion of tissue and less regeneration lead to weakness and brittleness of bones. In extreme depletion, bones become so weak that even a fall or mild stress to the bone like coughing or bending over the lead to fracture of bones. Most commonly affected bones are the spine, hip, and wrist.

Osteoporosis is a type of disease which can be easily prevented with proper management. Management of osteoporosis is not just by medication but balanced diet plays a very important role to treat the case of osteoporosis. Balanced supply of calcium, vitamin D to affected case helps a lot in many cases.

How is it caused?

As a child grows all the tissues of the body grow at a fast pace. As the body grows bone tissue also grows fast with increasing age.

Maximum growth occurs until the age of 20. Until this age of 20-22 growth of bony tissue is more comparable to the depletion of tissue. In later ages, new growth of bone tissue decreases and depletion of bone tissue increases. When this depletion reaches an abnormal level it leads to a disease condition known as osteoporosis.

Hormonal disturbances also lead to depletion of calcium or less absorption or less utilization of calcium by bones.

Excess of parathyroid hormone leads to osteoporosis.

Other factors lead to osteoporosis are

• Poor nutritional diet.

• Poor calcium in the daily diet.

• Diseases leading to malabsorption of food.

• Genetically related diseases of bones.

What are the signs and symptoms?

• Short Stature

• Bone fracture occurs more easily than expected.

• Loss of height over time.

• A backache caused by fall or collapse of vertebrae.

• Early stages no symptoms are visible.

Can you have pain with osteoporosis?

Many people do not feel pain due to osteoporosis. But they develop the classic dowager’s hump – called kyphosis of the spine or fracture.

Can you be born with osteoporosis?

Risk factors that lead to osteoporosis are increasing age especially old age. Major risk factors that can lead to osteoporosis are as follows

• Delayed occurrence of menarche in females.

• An absence of menses or irregular menses.

• Use of drugs or alcohol or tobacco is leading factors.

• Menopause stage early in women.

• Heredity history of osteoporosis in the family.

• Female gender is at higher risk.

• Multiple pregnancies and lack of nutrition in females.

• Deficiency of male and female particular hormones as androgen or estrogen.

• Asian race has more risk of developing osteoporosis.

• Calcium deficiency in the diet.

• Advanced age (above 50 years of age)

Can osteoporosis be cured?

If the disease is detected early and treatment and management are started at once then the prognosis is very good. Severe cases are also easy to stabilize. In older people where the risk of fracture is more are to be taken care of.

Management of fractures with proper case and physiotherapy helps patient a lot.

The decrease of bone marrow density and risk of fracture can be treated by giving anti-osteoporotic medicines and a calcium-rich diet.

Prognosis of fractures associated with osteoporosis depends on the care and management of the case. If the fracture occurs at early age surgery is helpful then patient advised taking the good amount of calcium and vitamin D but if the fracture occurs at old age then in some cases where surgery is not possible then disability occur, in that cases, physiotherapy will help the patient.

If osteoporosis occurs in the vertebrae of the spine then it may lead to vertebral compression fractures. This defect leads to a decrease in the space of the spinal canal and adding pressure on spinal nerves and causes pain in the area which is affected.

How does osteoporosis affect your daily life?

Fractures of the spine due to osteoporosis can lead to pain and deformity that may get worse over time. Osteoporosis makes it difficult to get around independently and make simple activities of daily life tough to do without others.

What are the complications?

• Hip fractures often result from fall and this can lead to disability and can even lead to death in older adults as it leads to post-operative complications.

• Bone fractures are most difficult complications to handle most of the hip and spine.

• Crumpling of spinal vertebrae lead to pain in back and also prolapse of vertebrae

For more information, you can visit NOF and Wikipedia.


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