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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. Osteoporotic bones are more susceptible to fracture . Bones that are affected by osteoporosis can fracture with only a minor fall or injury that normally would not cause a bone fracture. In most cases, bones weaken when you have low levels of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals in your bones. In the United States, nearly 10 million people already have osteoporosis. Another 18 million people have low bone mass that places them at an increased risk for developing osteoporosis. Normal bone is composed of protein, collagen, and calcium. The fracture can be either in the form of cracking (as in a hip fracture ), or collapsing (as in a compression fracture of the vertebrae of the spine). Although it's often thought of as a women's disease, osteoporosis also affects a significant number of men. And compared with the number of women and men who have osteoporosis, many more have low bone density. Yet it's never too late or too early to do something about osteoporosis. Everyone can take steps to keep bones strong and healthy throughout life.

Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that causes bones to become thin and brittle, making them more likely to break. Osteoporosis can also accompany endocrine disorders or result from excessive use of drugs such as corticosteroids. A common result of osteoporosis is fractures most of them in the spine, hip or wrist. While treatment modalities are becoming available (such as the bisphosphonates ), prevention is still considered the most important way to reduce fracture.In addition it may be caused by various hormonal conditions, smoking and medications (specifically glucocorticoids ). According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of osteoporosis among US white women past menopause is estimated to be 14% in those aged 50-59 years, 22% in those aged 60-69 years, 39% in those aged 70-79 years, and 70% in those aged 80 years and older. White and Asian racial groups, however, are at a greater risk.

Casuses of Osteoporosis

The common Casuses of Risk Factors Osteoporosis :

  • Estrogen deficiency
  • In men, hypogonadism with low testosterone levels
  • Due to increased hepatic metabolism of estrogen and direct toxic effect on bone (Persons who smoke also may weigh less and have earlier menopause.)
  • Prolonged strenuous exercise resulting in amenorrhea
  • Due to direct toxic effect on bone (Persons with alcoholism also often have poor nutritional status.)

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Some Symptoms of Osteoporosis :

  • Back pain, which can be severe if you have a fractured or collapsed vertebra.
  • Fracture of the vertebrae, wrists, hips or other bones .
  • Loss of height over time, with an accompanying stooped posture .
  • Low back pain.
  • Neck pain .
  • Bone pain or tenderness .

Treatment of Osteoporosis

  • Strontium ranelate (Protelos) is a drug which stimulates new bone formation, and is used if you do not tolerate bisphosphonates well.
  • Calcitonin is a hormone made by the thyroid gland (a hormone-producing gland in the neck), which blocks the action of the cells that break down bone. It is taken by spraying it into your nose.
  • The goals of surgical treatment of fractures are rapid mobilization and return to normal function and activities.
  • Vitamin D and calcium intake is an effective treatment to reduce bone loss in the elderly. Post menopausal women should aim to take around 700 to 1000mg of calcium a day, either in their diet or as a supplement.
  • Other SERMs and bisphosphonates are being studied as improved prevention or treatments for osteoporosis. Also promising as a possible therapy is parathyroid hormone (PTH).
  • You may need quite strong pain killers (analgesics), for quite some time, in the event of an osteoporotic fracture.
  • Bisphosphonates are non-hormonal medicines which work by blocking the break down of bone. There are four bisphosphonates available in the UK - alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), risedronate (Actonel) and ibandronate (Bonviva).

 


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