Osteoporosis is a term that literally means ‘porous bone’. It is a condition where bones become thin and lose their strength as they become less dense and their quality is reduced. This may lead to broken bones which causes pain, disability and make everyday activities extremely difficult.
Osteoporosis is a condition where the quality, quantity and strength of your bone is reduced, making them more likely to break. It causes the bone to become weak & brittle. So brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine. Bone is a living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. With Osteoporosis, new bone creation doesn’t keep up with old bone removal. Many people have no symptoms until they have a bone fracture.
World Osteoporosis day and its significance
World Osteoporosis day is celebrated on 20th October across the world to raise awareness about Osteoporosis that severely affects bone health of an individual. It is also the day to raise awareness about its symptoms, prevention and treatment. On this day, people also get educated about the importance of getting tested on regular basis for the diagnosis of osteoporosis at an early age.
According to statistics, one in every three women over 50 years of age suffer an osteoporotic fracture. One in five men also face the same risk but only around 20 percent of Osteoporosis patients are lucky to be diagnosed and treated.
Signs and Symptoms
- Fragility -related fractures. These occur when even mild impact causes a fracture of the wrist, back, hip or other bones.
- Height loss. More than two inches in height can be lost over time.
- Receding gums.
- A curved, slopped shape to the spine.
- Lower back pain.
- Shortness of breath.
Osteoporosis can be prevented in following ways:-
- Eating foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D.
- Regular exercises like walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs.
1. Taking a Medical History :-
A doctor will ask for Osteoporosis risk factors. A family history of Osteoporosis increases your risk factors. Lifestyle factors include diet, physical activity, drinking habits and smoking. Habits can also impact your risk. A doctor will also review medical conditions you have and medications you may have taken.
2. Performing a physical scan :-
A doctor will measure a person’s height and compare this to previous measurements. Height loss can indicate Osteoporosis. Your doctor may ask if you have difficulty rising from a sitting position without using your arms to push yourself up.
3. Bone Density Scan :-
The most common way to diagnose osteoporosis is by a bone density scan and asses the risk of fracture and determine the need for treatment. Your bone density can be measured by a machine that uses low levels of X-rays to determine the proportion of mineral in your bones. During this painless test, you lie on a paddled table as a scanner passes over your body. In most cases, only certain bones are checked usually in the hip and spine.
4. Performing Blood and Urine Testing :-
Medical conditions can cause bone loss. These include parathyroid & thyroid malfunction. A doctor may perform blood and urine testing to rule this out. Testing may cover calcium levels, thyroid functions and testosterone levels in men.
Treatment for Osteoporosis include:-
- Healthy diet.
- Weight bearing exercise.