Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones of the body become very weak and fragile. This article will help you to know more on what osteoporosis is and what medicines are used for its treatment.
Osteoporosis is a disease of bones that can affect the life. Millions of women around the world already are suffering from or are at risk of osteoporosis. This disease can cause severe pain and discomfort in the whole body.
Bones: Bones are made up of collagen protein, calcium, and minerals. The inner structure of the bone is made up of the mesh of trabecular bones that look like the honeycomb. Bones cells keep on changing throughout the life where the old and torn out cells called osteoclasts are replaced by osteoblasts or the new bone cells. In childhood, the complete renewal of the skeleton takes places in two years while as we age the process slows down to as low as ten years.
Bones affected due to osteoporosis:
Although osteoporosis affects all bones of the body yet the common fragile bones are of regions like hips, wrists and vertebrae (or spine). If osteoporosis hits the vertebral region, then it can create several problems in females as any fracture in this area can cause hindrance in the day to day activities.
Some common signs of osteoporosis are:
• Slanting shoulders
• Back pain
• Loss of height
• Curve in the back
• Bent/hunched posture
• Protruding abdomen
Risk factors of getting osteoporosis:
There are some risk factors that can control your chances of getting osteoporosis. Some of these factors can be controlled while other cannot be controlled:
1. Old age or over 65 years of age
2. Being female
3. Menopause stage in women
4. Family history of osteoporosis
5. Having small and thin body
6. Having a disorder like arthritis, premature menopause, type I diabetes and anorexia nervosa can trigger osteoporosis
7. Less exercise and less activity
8. Females who are not getting regular menstrual periods
9. The long-term use of antacids, antiseizure, cancer treatment, and asthma medications, etc. Can trigger osteoporosis
10. Too much of smoking and alcohol consumption
Consequences of osteoporosis:
Having osteoporosis doesn’t mean that your bones will break automatically. Instead, osteoporosis is a condition where the chances of your bone fracture are more during a fall or an injury. It is because, after the age of around 35, bone loss increases (in the form of calcium, collagen, and other minerals. It lead to osteoporosis and increased the risk of bone fracture.
There are some tests that are used to verify the presence of the condition of osteoporosis. One of the tests is DXA or Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry. This test is used to take a high defined X-ray of your bones. This test can:
1. Check the bone strength
2. Diagnose if you have osteoporosis or whether you are likely to break a bone or not
3. Check if the treatments are doing good to your bones or not
Treatment of osteoporosis:
Treatment of osteoporosis includes medication (on the recommendation by a doctor), a balanced diet rich in Vitamin D and calcium, daily exercise, and a healthy lifestyle change. Before taking any drug for the treatment, you must always take advice from your doctor. Some of the approved drugs for osteoporosis are:
These are used for the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. These drugs can help to build bone mass.
• Selective estrogen receptor modulators or (serms):
They are also used for treatment and prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. They work by slowing the rate of bone loss.
It is a natural hormone that is helpful in the prevention of loss of bone calcium
Apart from these medications for osteoporosis your doctor may also recommend therapies such as:
• Menopausal hormonal therapy
• Parathyroid hormonal therapy
Ways to prevent osteoporosis:
Many a times being a woman you might wonder if osteoporosis can be prevented. There are many ways to keep your bone healthy and strong and slow down the process of bone loss.
A healthy diet rich in nutrients, calcium, and vitamin D is very necessary to ensure bone health. Many women ignore this thing, and their total calcium uptake is less than half of what is required by the body.
Here is the daily calcium requirement chart:
Age Milligrams (mg) per day
51 and older 1200
Rich sources of calcium include: tofu, milk, spinach, beans and yogurt.
Daily Vitamin-D requirement chart:
Age International Units(IU)
Although very less amount of vitamin D is available from food, yet some sources of vitamin D are cooked salmon, milk and egg yolk.
Exercise: it is one of the major bone strength developers. You can develop strong bones and muscles by doing weight-bearing activities that work against gravity like yoga, weight lifts, walking, jogging, and climbing stairs, etc.
Preventing falls: falls can break bones. You can prevent falls by following simple household precautionary measures like putting grab bars on bathroom walls, using carpet runners on slippery floors, adding more light to the room, etc.
Conclusion: Osteoporosis is a measure problem among women these days, however if they take proper care of themselves they can surely prevent the consequences and pains one has to face during osteoporotic fractures. We should not be ignorant about our bone health and should take appropriate steps to improve our health before it’s too late.