Osteoporosis Disease – A Quick Overview

Osteoporosis disease is a disorder of the bones. ‘Osteo’ means bones and ‘porosis’ means porous. Hence the disease is named osteoporosis which means bones which are porous or porous bones. The bones of a patient of the osteoporosis disease are very weak, fragile and prone to fractures. Osteoporosis disease is characterized by bone mineral density (BMD) being low. The micro-architecture of the bones is disturbed and their posture becomes bad. Acknowledgement of osteoporosis is recorded by the WHO as the disease of reduced bone mineral density in women, since their BMD deviates by 2.5 units from the peak bone mass value, as averagely seen in a healthy 20 – year old female.

Osteoporosis is more common in women than in men. Facts and figures show that 80 % of American residents affected by osteoporosis are females, while 20 % are males. The common cause for osteoporosis disease to occur is the old age, with deteriorating calcium content in bones. But for women it is more significant because of their menstrual characteristics. A woman’s menstruation stops at the age of 45-55 years, the period called menopause. 5 -7 years post menopause the calcium from a woman’s bones is reduced, and it is an act of nature. Hence, most women suffering from the osteoporosis disease are found to be over the age of 50.

This is specifically called postmenopausal osteoporosis. Not that, it does not develop in men at the old age. It does. It basically occurs due to hormonal disorders. Like in women, due to no production of estrogen hormones after menopause the calcium deficiency starts showing its appearance, in men too the reduction in testosterone production, which happens after a certain age in the range of 50-60, is a reason for the occurrence of osteoporosis disease. There are hormone replacement therapies as one of the remedies for the cure of this disease. But the basic CDEs is the best remedy.

Also, due to the disease of the parathyroid glands, the hyperparathyroidism, osteoporosis disease occurs. A person suffering from severe osteoporosis will, in most of the cases, have hyperparathyroidism at the top on his/her disease list. Hyperparathyroidism is also a major cause for osteoporosis at young age and the disease being seen in males. Another cause of the high sufferings because of the osteoporosis disease is the excessive consumption of the dietary protein, which causes loss of calcium from the bones by excreting it through urine.

Osteoporosis disease is often called the ‘silent’ disease, pertaining to its nature of showing no specific symptoms. Many a times the back and joint aches that occur due to osteoporosis are mistaken to be the signs of daily fatigue.  The consequences of osteoporosis are sever fractures, esp. of the hip, wrist and the spine. The risk factors for the disease and related fractures can be split between potentially non-modifiable and modifiable. Factors like aging, destined to female sex (postmenopausal osteoporosis), medications for the cure of some other disease that can increase the risk for osteoporosis, having a history of already two fractures, etc. are some factors that are non-modifiable i.e. cannot be modified to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Some modifiable factors are deficiency of calcium and vitamin D in your diet and hence body, excessive intakes of alcohol and tobacco, malnutrition, consumption of softdrinks and caffine and so on. We can definately persuade patients to modify the intakes of these constituents accordingly and help them win over the osteoporosis disease.

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