Osteoporosis is a condition which usually results due to a decrease in bone density. In this condition, the bones become weak and brittle. Fractures are a common result of osteoporosis. Usually, symptoms or signs do not show up until the condition progresses to its advanced stages.
Since osteoporosis is usually irreversible and incurable, preventing the fractures is considered to be extremely important.
Who is at risk of osteoporosis?
All men and women have some risk of developing 'thinning' of the bones (osteoporosis) as they become older, particularly over the age of 60. As mentioned above, women are more at risk than men. The following situations may also lead to excessive bone loss and so increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. If you:
Osteoporosis in women can be treated using Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). The therapy makes use of either a combination of progestin and oestrogen or simply, oestrogen. However, it is possible that certain combinations have side-effects that might give rise to other medical conditions. Therefore, proper consultation with an orthopedist is an essential pre-requisite so that the condition of osteoporosis as well the side effects may be addressed before proceeding with Hormone Replacement Therapy.
There are a number of medications that can be used which have long-term effects on osteoporosis. However, the schedule for intake of these medicines should be followed diligently. Failing to adhere to the schedule could lead to serious complications. For example, the intake of Risedronate medications (prevent bone loss) should be scheduled once every month, failing which can cause ulcers in the food pipe. Raloxifene has effects which are similar to oestrogen but does not exhibit any serious side effects. Teriparatide can be used to treat osteoporosis in people who have a high risk of suffering from bone fractures.
Don't rely entirely on medication as the only treatment for your osteoporosis. These practices also are important:
Osteoporosis is a condition wherein the bones become brittle and weak; so much so that even mildly stressful activities such as coughing, bending over or even a slight fall (such as the one from a high rise chair) can result in fractures. Osteoporosis-related fractures commonly occur in the spine, hip or the wrist. The human body has a continuous mechanism of bone absorption and removal. In case of osteoporosis, the creation of new bones doesn’t happen in accordance with the removal of old bones.
The bones of the spine get extremely vulnerable to breakage and even cracking open. The fractures in the spine, also known as vertebral compression fractures can cause a sharp stinging pain in the back that may make sitting, standing, or even walking a very tardy task.
Abnormally less or high body weight
Menopause or low levels of sex hormones
Gender: This disorder is more likely to affect women as compared to men. Also women, who are above 50 are more likely to suffer from this debilitating disorder.
Race is a significant risk factor of osteoporosis. If you are of Asian descent, you are more likely to be affected by it.
Having a family history of osteoporosis will put you at a greater risk of this disorder.
Fractured or collapsed vertebra causing back pain
A stooped posture
A shrunken appearance (as if one has had loss of height)
Very fragile bones, thus increasing risks of fractures
Severe and sudden pain in the back
Difficulty in twisting or bending the body
Lower spine fractures are way more troublesome as compared to fractures in the upper spine. Fracturing more than a bone in the spine also remains a huge possibility.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
Firstly, an X-ray or a computerized tomography (CT scan) will be done to have a closer look at the bones. A bone density test is another commonly used method of diagnosing osteoporosis.
Steroids and medications: Some medications may be used to prevent or combat osteoporosis. These include alendronate, ibandronate, risedronateand zoledronic acid.
Physical therapy: Just like muscles, bones get stronger too when you exercise. Weight-bearing and muscle- strengthening exercises are the most helpful in this regard and are considered best for the treatment of osteoporosis. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, jogging or even swimming can prove to be immensely beneficial.
Diet: Make a diet chart that includes high-calcium food items, dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and low-fat milk, tofu, green vegetables such as collard greens and broccoli, sea fish such as salmon and sardines.
Salt: Limit salt intake
Therapy: Hormone replacement therapy (treatment method consisting of estrogens to alleviate and treat symptoms of osteoporosis) is another method of treatment that can be recommended by the doctor. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Metabolic Bone Disease is a term used for various conditions of the bones that can be caused by a number of different disorders. Most of these disorders are developed due to nutritional deficiencies, defects in the bone metabolism procedure or due to hereditary defects in the skeletal structure. Conditions that fall under the category are osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets, Paget's disease, parathyroid conditions, chemotherapy induced bone loss and menopause induced bone loss.
1. Imbalance in the level of calcium
Too much calcium or too little calcium can cause bone diseases. While the overabundance of calcium (hypercalcemia) in the body will lead to calculi formation, which can be harmul for the body, the lack of calcium (hypocalcemia) causes weakness, bone pain and restricted growth.
2. Deficiency of phosphorus
Low phosphorus in blood (hypophosphatemia) leads to softening of the bone tissue and bone loss. Osteomalacia is commonly caused by phosphorus deficiencies.
3. Deficiency of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for the body to absorb calcium. Cells called osteoblasts need vitamin D in order to absorb calcium and secrete the bone tissue proteins. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to a number of metabolic bone diseases like rickets and osteoporosis.
4. Over or under secretion of the parathyroid hormone
The parathyroid hormone (PTH) stimulates the secretion of an enzyme which converts the inactive circulatory form of vitamin D into its active usable form. The hormone can also increase the circulation of free or ionized calcium (Ca2+) which is not attached to proteins. Both underproduction and overproduction of the hormone causes skeletal problems.
Symptoms of Metabolic Bone Diseases
The symptoms of most of the Metabolic Bone Diseases are similar. They are:
1. A dull, throbbing pain in the bones is the most common symptom. The pain is frequent and lasts for a long amount of time but, unlike muscular pain, the exact region of bone pain cannot be specified.
2. Severe joint pains accompanied by stiffness and swelling of the joints. The patient experience pain during regular physical activities, especially during cold weather conditions.
3. Frequent fractures are caused by most bone diseases because the bone mineral density decreases drastically. Severe bone injury may be caused by mild trauma.
4. Defects in the bones can cause bowed out legs and a bent backbone.
5. A general feeling of exhaustion is often caused by bone diseases.
6. Kidney stones are an associated complication of metabolic bone diseases.
A human body has a total of 206 bones, and yet it makes life a living hell, if even one of them is harmed. A person living with Osteoporosis feels the same way, except that they are a lot more prone to having their bones broken than a person who doesn’t. There are a variety of ways to go about treating the issue and one of them involves making use of parathyroid hormones. This is a pathbreaking cure for Osteoporosis and is being adopted by many patients worldwide.
If a person takes a look at the drugs which are made use of in the treatment of osteoporosis, he or she will release that their main function is not to repair what is damaged, but rather to slow the rate of further damage like Bisphosphonate.
However, if parathyroid hormones are looked at, it will be seen that they are usually recommended for those people who may even already had had fractures on account of osteoporosis. These people are generally said to have low bone density, which can be quite dangerous. The reason for this being the case is the fact that when parathyroid hormones are used, they have the potential and the ability to increase the rate of growth of the bones; in terms of the mineral density of the bones as well as the strength of the same.
Teriparatide comes in a pen-like device so that it can be introduced into the body by the way of an injection to either the thigh or the wall of the abdomen. It is important to keep in mind that the medicine should be handled with care which goes to mean that it is to be refrigerated at all times.
It is also to be kept in mind that the medicine can have certain side effects. In most cases in which side effects occur, the medicine leads to some dizziness or some leg cramps.
Taking into due account the fact that the drug is a new one, many doctors would not recommend it to people who have problems with their bones other than those which are caused by osteoporosis. Examples of such conditions would be hypercalcemia, which is a condition in which there is too much calcium in the blood or bone cancer. In addition to this, the medicine is not to be used by a person for a duration which is longer than two years.
All in all, it can be said that if a person makes use of parathyroid hormones to treat a problem that can be as bad as osteoporosis, the effects can be quite startling, and that too, in a positive way!
Along with curing anger and stress, yoga is also beneficial in treating osteoporosis, either by itself or in combination with different medicines. Osteoporosis is an illness described by weak and diminishing bones that can result in cracks and fractures in the bones. Some of the postures that can be helpful in treating osteoporosis are as follows:
Yoga is one of the most secure measures and medicines for osteoporosis. It is something that anyone of any age can do at any place. The advantages are numerous and dangers are few if done properly.
Osteoporosis in very simple terms is a condition that causes spongy bones. The bones develop pores and become fragile with an increased susceptibility to fractures. In average, all our bones get weak after the age of 35 years which means that the bone mass decreases. Women after menopause are especially susceptible to this condition and also osteoporotic fractures. What are the other risk factors for osteoporosis? Knowing this is important for your bone health as it will help to prevent fractures. But before we discuss the causes of osteoporosis, it’ is important to point out that osteoporosis has no symptoms and it can only be diagnosed when you have a fracture for no reason at all, or you get a bone density test to diagnose osteoporosis.
Some of the factors that can lead to osteoporosis are:
The diagnosis of osteoporosis is simple and it is advisable that older people especially women get periodic X- rays and bone density tests to rule out this bone condition.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a medical condition wherein the bone becomes fragile and breaks easily even with a minor fall. The bones of spine, wrists and hips get affected the most. These fractured bones lead to severe pain and can force a person to become immobile. A spine fracture can even lead to a loss of height.
What is parathyroid hormone?
Parathyroid is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates the amount of calcium present in the body. They mitigate the risk of bone breakage in the body for a patient suffering with osteoporosis. These hormones are injected into the body on a daily basis to maintain the normal flow of calcium in the body.
How does the treatment work?
Treatments are available in the form of drugs and injections. A doctor can prescribe drugs, if the patient is at an increased rate of bone breakage. The parathyroid hormone helps to protect the bone from breaking, but have no role when the bone actually breaks. The body has a natural process of breaking a bone and rebuilding it by itself. Osteoporosis sets in motion when this process of bone formation is disturbed.
When does a doctor prescribe hormonal treatment?
If a patient has undergone a number of vertebral compression fractures and the condition has not improved, a doctor might suggest to undergo parathyroid hormone treatment. The treatment requires nursing support due to a patient’s delicate bone condition. A maximum dosage of 20 micro grams of parathyroid can be injected for a time duration not exceeding 2 years.
Things to know about the treatment:
Bones are similar to a porous framework which is filled with minerals that make it hard and strong. With age, there is gradual degradation and the mineralized portion is lost, thereby leading to thinning of the bone. The word osteoporosis literally translates to porous bones, which is due to the gradual demineralisation. In addition to the natural ageing process, there are other diseases that can accelerate the demineralization process.
Women are more prone to demineralisation, and after the age of 40, they should take extra precaution to slow down the onset of the condition. The following are some ways to improve bone health and halt osteoporosis in the long run-
Diet: Ensure that your diet has sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium. Though calcium is the essential mineral for bone formation, vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium, and therefore both these elements play a vital role in maintaining the quality of the bones in our body. Most people require about 1,000 mg of calcium and about 500 units of vitamin D for optimal bone health. This requirement goes up slightly in postmenopausal women.
Sun Exposure: In most people, exposure to the sun allows the body to make vitamin D, but careful sun protection prevents this from happening. Also, with age, the body’s ability to form intrinsic vitamin D also declines. The body, therefore, relies on supplements. Most dairy products are good sources of calcium. In addition, spinach, salmon, turnips, and broccoli are some calcium-rich foods. Supplements of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate can be taken if your diet is lacking in calcium. Vitamin D also should be included in the supplementation. The treatment for osteoporosis is incomplete without these two supplements.
Exercise With Weights: The constructive tension that exercise puts on the body helps in bone building, whatever the age may be, which prevents the onset of osteoporosis. Any exercise which improves muscle mass strengthens the bones, and puts stress on the bones is advisable. Since the fractured area due to osteoporosis mainly includes the spine, lower back exercises, yoga, tai chi, and abdominal exercises all work wonders. Pick any of these and do them for 30 minutes three times a week.
Quit Smoking: Continuing to smoke while taking osteoporosis medications is completely useless. Nicotine negates all the effects which defeat the purpose of taking the medication and is as good as taking no medication at all. So if you want the bone thinning to stop, stop smoking.
Alcohol Consumption: While a drink or two per week is permissible, more than this can harm the bones significantly.
Constant Health Watch: Talk to your doctor about how other routine medications (if any) can affect your bone health. Also, identify how frequently you should check your bone mineral density and stick to the schedule.
Bone health and osteoporosis can be managed with some conscious efforts.