Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become so thin and fragile that they may break easily and lead to walking difficulty, permanent disability, or even death. Other serious consequences include bone injuries, severe back pain, and deformity that require cast work, hospitalization, and even major surgery.
Osteoporosis – if not taken proper care of, can lead to the breakage of the bones thus leading to a fracture. As a part of our normal aging process, our bodies start to produce lesser calcium and breakdown bone faster resulting in a more fragile bone.
Osteoporosis generally is found to be very much typical in certain parts of the body, say for instance in the hips, wrists, spinal cord and also in the vertebras. Women are more prone to suffering from osteoporosis more than men. The study of the skeletal structure of women explains that the bone density of women is lesser compared to the bone density of men. Furthermore, the menopause, most women are bound to experience rapid bone loss because of a decrease in their estrogen production level.
The Silent Killer
Osteoporosis is known to be a silent killer. Bone loss occurs without any symptom whatsoever- Women might not even know that they have this condition until their bones become very weak that a sudden fall or bump or strain might cause a fracture or even worse, a vertebra collapses. Collapsed vertebrae may occur in the form of severe pain in the back and also between the joints, loss of height, spinal deformities and so on.
The bone mineral density reduces followed by deterioration of micro-architecture of bone and alteration of bone proteins. World Health Organization (WHO) defines that the bone mineral density in osteoporosis is less than 2.5 as measured by DXA. The normal bone density is within 1SD (+1 or -1) of the young adult mean. Our body achieves its peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) by the time we are 25 and 30, it does a pretty good job by working out a precise balance between desorption (the removal of old bone) and the formation and addition of new bone.
Osteoporosis results in declination of the strength of bones that makes them fragile. The bones become abnormally porous similar to the sponge. The skeleton weakens and is more prone to fractures resulting in a condition where the bones are slightly less dense than the normal bone. For example, when a woman reaches the age of menopause her bone loss accelerates from about 3% up to 7% a year.
Ways To Help Bone Density
Protein, calcium, and collagen are the chief constituents that are responsible for the strength of the bone. When one is diagnosed with low bone density, this means that your bone has less, mineral per square inch than it should. Bones that are affected by osteoporosis may break very easily after a very minor injury that in general cannot cause harm to the normal bone. This break or fracture of the bone may be in the form of cracking or collapsing. Spine, hips, ribs, and wrists are the major portions of the body that are frequently affected by this disease and can be fractured by a minor dent.
All women need to take a proactive approach against osteoporosis as it is undetected until a fracture occurs. With most other diseases some signs and symptoms will warn a sufferer of the possibility of an underlying problem, but not with osteoporosis. The disease cannot be characterized by specific symptoms but the major noticeable sign is increased risk of fractures, joint pain, and bone pain.
A healthy person- a young person per se has dense bones; when examined under a microscope, they appear honeycomb-like with some tiny holes.
Consequently, as time passes and the condition isn’t well managed- the bones of a person with osteoporosis would appear to have larger holes and gaps in the honeycomb-like structure basically, because of loss in density. Loss in density results in weaker bones. On the other hand, if the condition seems to be managed properly, the process of loss of bone density would slow down or in very rare cases even stop if the patient is involved in physical fitness activities frequently.
Effects of Osteoporosis on a patient includes:
The small bone of your spine- the vertebrae, starts to get thin and weak as a result of the condition. They get weak that it doesn’t take a fall to cause them to break or crumble. They can painlessly start to crumble without you even noticing while it happens. That small bones of your spine work together to support your body, so a problem with your vertebrae can keep you from bending, twisting and leaning the way you have always done before. They can also result in a hunched-over posture that gets worse with time causing severe pain and affect your lungs, intestines, and heart.
Wrist and Forearm Fractures
This condition is accompanied by severe pain and they do not have the same effects as spinal fractures. Never the less, they can still cause problems in your everyday life. After all, you use your wrists and hands for so many tasks around the house and out in the world. For example, you might find it harder to write, cook, and do basic grooming tasks like brushing your teeth if the pain doesn’t go away.
Difficulty in Moving:
Fracture in your spine and hips can make it difficult and challenging to move around. They affect walking, bending, pushing, and pulling. You might need to get help by using tools like a cane, a walker, or long-handled reachers. When you have this condition and you fail to move around, you are likely to develop heart disease, cancer, anxiety, depression, and other mental health condition.
While several therapies improve bone strength and reduce the risk of spine and hip fracture, there is no cure for osteoporosis, and long-term treatment is needed. You can avoid a little knowledge. Most of the causes of osteoporosis can be prevented with exercise and a good intake of calcium and vitamin D.