All about osteoporosis

Learning about different disabilities on a daily basis is essential for our brand and this week, we want to shine on a condition where there is little awareness about and not many people have spoken up about which is osteoporosis.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps. Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” Viewed under a microscope, healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races. But white and Asian women — especially older women who are past menopause — are at the highest risk. Medications, a healthy diet, and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.

Symptoms of osteoporosis

Once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you might have signs and symptoms that include:

· Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra

· Loss of height over time

· A stooped posture

· A bone that breaks much more easily than expected

The stage before osteoporosis is called osteopenia. This is when a bone density scan shows you have lower bone density than the average for your age, but not low enough to be classed as osteoporosis. Osteopenia does not always lead to osteoporosis. It depends on many factors.

Causes of osteoporosis

Your bones are in a constant state of renewal — new bone is made and old bone is broken down. When you're young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and your bone mass increases. After the early 20s, this process slows, and most people reach their peak bone mass by age 30. As people age, bone mass is lost faster than it's created. How likely you are to develop osteoporosis depends partly on how much bone mass you attained in your youth. Peak bone mass is somewhat inherited and varies also by ethnic group. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have "in the bank" and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.

The risk factors include:

  • Sex. Women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than are men.

  • Age. The older you get, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.

  • Race. You're at the greatest risk of osteoporosis if you're white or of Asian descent.

  • Family history. Having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk, especially if your mother or father fractured a hip.

  • Body frame size. Men and women who have small body frames tend to have a higher risk because they might have less bone mass to draw from as they age.

Treatments of osteoporosis

There are different types of treatments which includes:

· Bisphosphonates = Side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, and heartburn-like symptoms. These are less likely to occur if the medicine is taken properly.

· Monoclonal antibody medicines = produce similar or better bone density results and reduces the chance of all types of fractures.

· Hormone-related therapy = Oestrogen, especially when started soon after menopause, can help maintain bone density

· Bone building medication = can try medications such as teriparatide, abaloparatide, and romosozumab

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