Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A little about ostoeporosis


Osteoporosis is a disease that is caused due to structural wear and tear of the bone tissue as well as low bone mass, thereby leading to bone frailty and an increases risk of wrist, spine and hip fracture. Both women as well as men run at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Women run at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, particularly elderly and frail women. Asian or white women run at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, particularly those who have an osteoporosis patient at home. Post menopausal women are more prone to osteoporosis as compared to others.

Some of the probable causes of developing osteoporosis are as follows:

• Cigarette smoking
• Eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa
• Low intake of calcium
• Excessive alcohol consumption
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Lack of certain hormones like androgen in men and estrogen in women
• Thyroid problems
• Genetic disorders
• Excessive use of corticosteroids

In the initial stages of the disease, symptoms are less likely to appear. However, at a later stage it may lead to pain in the muscles or bones, especially neck pain or low back pain. With time, sharp pain may appear suddenly. Osteoporosis patients may fail to recall a fall as well as other trauma that may lead to a broken bone like foot or spine.

If you’re past menopause and suffer from consistent pain in your lower back or neck, make sure to consult your physician at the earliest for further evaluation. If you feel that you are at a higher risk of developing this disease, then be sure to consult your physician for a bone density screening and medical assessment. Visit the hospital at the earliest if you experience severe pain in your bones or muscles that restricts your capability to function.

Osteoporosis treatment focuses on stopping or slowing down the mineral loss, preventing bone fractures, increasing bone density and managing the pain related with the disease. Nearly forty percent of women experience a fracture because of osteoporosis. However, the goal of medical science lies in preventing fractures.

Youngsters need to attain increased bone mass by including calcium rich foods in their diet. In addition to this, incorporating a couple of weight bearing exercise like aerobics or walking is also helps in preventing osteoporosis. However, prior to carrying out any exercise make sure you consult your doctor.

Lifestyle changes like quitting cigarette smoking, exercising on a routine basis, curtailing excessive consumption of alcohol are some of the ways through which you can prevent osteoporosis.

In addition to this, there are some medicines such as risedronate (Actonel), alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), raloxifene (Evista), calcitonin (Calcimar), and zoledronate (Reclast) help in increasing bone strength and stopping bone loss. Medicine such as teriparatide (Forteo) helps in improving bone formation.

Osteoporosis patients opting for the estrogen replacement therapy need to have regular mammograms, pap smears and pelvic exams as suggested by the doctor for managing the probable side effects of the medications. On the flop side those opting for the non-hormonal treatment need to go in for kidney and urine function tests together with follow up visits with the doctor.

To sum up, it can be concluded that with adequate guidance you can prevent as well as treat osteoporosis.

The following websites have been referred to while writing this article: