Osteoporosis is a bone disease caused by a lack or retardant of compensation of new bones to the old ones. The affected bones become weak, brittle and easily fractured. Osteoporosis can occur in anybody. However, the risk of the condition is increased in women who are past menopause. To prevent a loss of bone and to strengthen the weak bones, medical health together with healthy diet and healthy-weight maintenance help.
People with the early stage of bone loss may not experience any sign or symptom. When the bones have been already weakened, the signs and symptoms usually begin to appear including:
- Back pain which is caused by a collapsed or fractured vertebrae
- Loss of height
- A stooped posture
- Easily broken bone
When to see a doctor
Women who have past menopause or continually took corticosteroid for several months are advised to consult a doctor as well as people whose parents have experienced hip fractures.
Bone is replaceable as it is a living tissue. The new bone is created to compensate for the old or broken ones. This process may be decelerated by age that also relates to the faster loss and replacement of bone mass.
There are several factors for osteoporosis including uncontrollable factors, hormone factors, dietary factors, medication factors and lifestyle factors.
- Uncontrollable factors
Several uncontrollable factors increase the risk of osteoporosis including:
- Gender: Osteoporosis is found more in women.
- Age: The risk of this condition is increased by age.
- Family history: The risk of osteoporosis tends to be increased in people whose family members have experienced a fractured hip.
- Body frame size: People with small body frames have more tendency to be involved with osteoporosis.
- Hormone factors
Level of hormones either too much or too little increases the risk of this condition. The hormones that relate to this condition may include:
- Sex hormones
- Thyroid problems
- Other glands
- Dietary factors
People with the condition below tend to have more risk of osteoporosis.
- Low consumption of calcium
- Eating disorders
- Gastrointestinal surgery
- Medication factors
Osteoporosis may be a result of long-term use of some medications and steroids used to treat several medical problems including:
- Gastric reflux
- Transplant rejection
- Medical conditions
The chance of osteoporosis may be increased in people with:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Kidney or liver disease
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Lifestyle factors
Some habits may increase the risk of osteoporosis, such as:
- Inactive lifestyle
- Alcohol consumption
The most serious complications of osteoporosis are bone fractures in the spine or hip. These fractures may result in disability that might increase the risk of death within several years after the injury.
The diagnosis aims to determine the proportion of minerals in the bones by using a machine containing a low level of X-rays. The bones in the hip and spine are usually the target of the test.
The treatment depends on the tendency of the breaking of a bone within 10 years. The doctor may not prescribe medication for people with low risk of breaking. However, the medications for people with higher risk of the breaking may include:
- Monoclonal antibody medications
- Hormone-related therapy
- Bone-building medications
Lifestyle and home treatment
You may change some of lifestyle to prevent the risk of osteoporosis by:
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding excessive alcohol
- Preventing falls
Preparing for an appointment
Before your appointment, you are advised to be aware of restrictions prior the appointment and you may prepare some information including:
- your experienced symptoms
- your key personal information
- all medications you are taking
- questions that you want to ask the doctor
During the consulting, the doctor may ask some questions including the information such as:
- your experience in bone fracture
- the decrease of your height
- your exercising habit
- your dietary habit
- your balance and experience of falling
- the experience of stomach or intestinal surgery
- history of your family member involved with osteoporosis or broken hip
- your recently consuming medications