What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease. In the inside of a healthy bone, there are small spaces, similar to a honeycomb. When one is affected by osteoporosis, the size of these spaces increase such that the bone loses its density and strength. At the same time, the outside of the bone also grows thinner and weaker. Osteoporosis commonly affects the hips, ribs, wrists and spine.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
Aging is the biggest risk factor for osteoporosis. As you age, your body goes through a process of breaking down old bone and growing new bone in its place. However, around the age of 30, your body begins to lose bone more rapidly than it can replace. Menopause can cause a woman’s body to lose bone even more rapidly. Men, too, continue to lose bone, but at a slower rate. By the age of 65-70, men and women lose bone at the same rate.
Some other causes of osteoporosis include family history or genetics, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, certain medications, smoking, small-boned frame and low body weight.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis?
There are no visible symptoms or warning signs during the initial stages of osteoporosis. Often, people do not realize that they have this condition until they experience a fracture. Sometimes, spinal fractures occur with no initial pain. In such cases, symptoms to be watchful are loss of height or a bent spine.
How is Osteoporosis diagnosed?
To diagnose osteoporosis, your doctor may recommend DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry). DEXA is a painless bone density test that is used to measure the density of the hips, spine and wrist.
How is Osteoporosis Treated ?
Osteoporosis is commonly treated using drugs called bisphosphonates. These osteoporosis drugs help prevent the loss of bone mass and may be taken by injection or orally. Other osteoporosis treatments include testosterone for men and estrogen for women. Other medications are also used to treat osteoporosis.
How can Osteoporosis be prevented?
Most risk factors for osteoporosis such as gender, age and family history are beyond control. However, you can take some preventive measures such as walking or lifting weight, refraining from smoking and getting lots of vitamin D and calcium. As there are no symptoms in the initial stages, it is imperative that you go for regular preventive screenings.
At Apollo Clinic, we take every measure possible to ensure that you are in the pink of health. To that end, we provide DEXA scan services and preventive screening for osteoporosis. Our team of highly skilled and experienced medical professionals is complemented by latest technology, infrastructure and amenities.