First I wish you all a very Happy International Osteoporosis Day ….a day which is dedicated to Bone health! Where we should be prompted to look into our personal risks and urged to take appropriate actions to prevent or reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is considered to be a global Health problem, one out of every two women and one in four men over 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture in his or her lifetime. Osteoporosis is a silent bone killer disease which affects both the sexes, but is more common in women. It causes the bones to become porous which leads to thin and brittle bones, increasing the risk of fractures mainly of hip, spine and wrist.
1. Primary Osteoporosis: cause is age related bone loss i.e reduction in bone density
2. Secondary Osteoporosis : loss of bone mass is caused by certain lifestyle related factors , diseases or medication .The most common causes of secondary osteoporosis , • Alcohol abuse • Smoking • Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise • Improper nutrition • Gastrointestinal disease • Menopause • Hypogonadism ( low levels of testosterone ) • Hypercalciuria ( high levels of calcium in urine) • Ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis
Osteoporosis can strike at any age but there are certain risk factors linked to the development of this condition among them some we can change and others we cannot. For eg you can change your diet, reduce your alcohol consumption and quit smoking however, there are certain risk factors that you cannot control like gender and ethnicity.
Factors which you cannot change • Gender: Your chances of developing osteoporosis are greater if you are a woman. Women have less bone tissue and lose bone faster than men because of the changes that happen with menopause • Age: The older you are, the greater your risk of osteoporosis. Your bones become thinner and weaker as you age. • Body: Size small, thin-boned women are at greater risk for developing osteoporosis than larger women. • Ethnicity: Caucasian and Asian women are at the highest risk of developing the disease. African-American and Hispanic women have a lower, but still significant, risk. • Family history: Your risk for fractures may be due, in part, to heredity. People whose parents have a history of fractures also seem to have reduced bone mass and may be at risk for fractures themselves. Factors which you can take a charge on: • Sex hormones. Abnormal absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea), low estrogen levels (menopause), and low testosterone levels in men can bring on osteoporosis. • Anorexia nervosa. Characterized by an irrational fear of weight gain, this eating disorder increases your risk for osteoporosis. • Calcium and vitamin D intake. A Lifetime diet low in calcium and vitamin D makes you more prone to bone loss. • Medication use. Long-term use of glucocorticoids and some anticonvulsants can lead to loss of bone density which can ultimately result in fractures. • Lifestyle. An inactive lifestyle or extended bed rest tends to weaken bones. • Lack of exercise • Cigarette smoking. Cigarettes are bad for the bones as well as the heart and lungs. • Alcohol intake. Excessive consumption of alcohol increases the risk of bone loss and fractures.
As there are no early symptoms of this condition the disease is not diagnosed until it is more advanced, but the drastic consequence of osteoporosis is visible in the life of millions of sufferers worldwide. Common symptom of the advanced form of the disease includes back pain, stooped posture and fractures that occur with minor injuries. Spinal or vertebral fracture are the most common type of fragility fracture yet remain largely untreated and are often ignored or misdiagnosed as back pain due to muscle pain or arthritis.. *Bone density tests or DEXA Scan can help detect osteoporosis before symptoms occur A test for bone density is a non-invasive, painless way to measure your bone health and determine your risk for osteoporosis. This test can also measure how well you are responding to osteoporosis treatment and assess your risk for fracture. It is similar to an x-ray, and the results are compared to two standard norms to determine your score. Awareness is the key for many changes in life.
Some changes which can be implemented to prevent Osteoporosis are: • Get your bone scanning done and you’re your bone strength score • Educate yourself for essential nutrition required to build up peak bone density and reduces the risk of fractures. • Be regular with exercises. • Lifestyle changes like smoking, excessive drinking, low body weight and not exercising increases the risk of osteoporosis …so work on it! • Women should know the fact that post menopause the risk of osteoporosis increases and thus they should take extra care of their bones and health • Men should also give special consideration to their health rather than keeping it as an ignorant factor Prevention is always better than cure, do take care of yours. Wish you all a very happy Bone Health.
Do write if you have any queries or even to share your views. Info@spinalogy.com
Reena Valecha, OT