Osteoporosis is bone loss thereby increasing the risk of fractures, especially in the hips, spine, and wrists.
In addition, osteoporosis is a bone disorder in the form of decreased bone density. Disease in the form of bone loss due to lack of calcium is also known as ‘porous bone’. This condition makes the bones become porous and prone to cracking.
Even so, you don’t need to worry about osteoporosis because bone tissue is constantly being renewed and new bone is replacing old and damaged bone. In this way, the body maintains bone density and the integrity of the crystal and its structure.
Bone density peaks when someone is in their late 20s. After about 35 years, bones begin to become weaker. As we get older, bones will break faster than they are formed. If this happens excessively, the impact is osteoporosis.
Causes of Osteoporosis
The main cause of osteoporosis is caused by a decrease in bone density caused by age and other factors, such as menopause.
You might be surprised to learn that many factors contribute to the condition. For example, decreased estrogen at menopause is one of the causes. There is also a genetic component, if the mother or grandmother has osteoporosis, a person is more likely to have osteoporosis as well.
Eating a low calcium diet, lack of exercise, and smoking can also increase your chances of developing osteoporosis. It is important to know all the causes of osteoporosis so that you can take preventive steps to stop this disease and reduce the risk of fractures.
Can osteoporosis start in childhood?
In childhood and adolescence, the body continually damages old bones and rebuilds new bone. This is done through a process called ‘renovas’. During this time, the body builds bones more often than eliminates, and as bones grow, bone strength will become stronger.
You often hear how important it is for women to get enough calcium. But it is as important or even more important as possible, that children and adolescents actually need to get enough calcium and it is important for them to exercise everyday so that they build strong bones as reserves for their next lives.
For most women, the total peak bone density is between the ages of 25-30 years. Maybe for some women reaching the peak faster depends on risk factors for osteoporosis. When the total number of bone peaks at some point, usually around age 35, women begin to lose bone density.
The bone density lost each year will increase with bone loss dramatically in 5-10 years after menopause. Then, for several years, bone damage occurs at a speed far greater than the construction of new bone. This is the process that eventually causes osteoporosis.
During this time, even though your bones may still be strong enough to prevent unusual fractures and you have no signs of osteoporosis, bone loss can become detectable by bone density testing.
Do men also suffer from osteoporosis?
Men can also experience osteoporosis. In fact, around 2 million men over the age of 65 experience osteoporosis. Osteoporosis usually starts at an older age than women and progresses more slowly in men.
With aging, osteoporosis becomes more frequent. Among people aged 50 years and older, 55 percent are at significant risk for osteoporosis.
Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Bone loss that leads to osteoporosis develops slowly. Often there are no outward symptoms or signs. Someone might not know they experienced it until they have broken a bone after a minor incident, such as falling, or even coughing or sneezing.
Areas that are often affected are the hips, wrists, or spine. When resting, the spine can cause changes in posture, porches, and curvature of the spine.
Osteoporosis Risk Factors
The degree of bone strength loss varies from person to person. How fast or how slow you lose bone depends on a number of factors:
- Activity level.
- How much calcium can you get?
- Family history.
- Your history of taking certain drugs.
- Lifestyle habits, such as smoking or drinking alcohol.
Osteoporosis and its Relation to Menopause
The hormone estrogen is important for maintaining bone density in women. When estrogen levels drop after menopause, bone density will decrease rapidly. This can occur due to natural menopause or menopause due to initial surgery if you have ovarian removal surgery.
During the first five to 10 years after menopause, women can lose about 2.5 percent of bone density each year. That means they can lose as much as 25 percent of their bone density during that time.
Bone loss after menopause is a major cause of osteoporosis in women. For women, having bones as strong as possible before entering menopause is the best protection against osteoporosis and to prevent fractures.
If the doctor suspects that you have osteoporosis, the doctor will conduct an examination. The spine is the bone that is often first affected, causing a loss of height of about half an inch or more over time. The doctor may also recommend that bone density be measured.
Osteoporosis is sometimes diagnosed after an X-ray examination is done to examine a fracture or other disease (not refer specifically to osteoporosis, so osteoporosis is discovered accidentally).
Bone density scan, also known as DEXA scan, is the most common tool used to measure bone density and diagnose bone loss and osteoporosis in the early stages.
Quantitative computerized tomography is also an accurate method for measuring bone density in all parts of the body. Keep in mind, this method uses a higher radiation level than other bone density tests. Ultrasound of the heel of the foot can also detect early signs of osteoporosis.
In addition to bone density testing, you may be asked to provide blood and urine samples for analysis so that the causes of the disease associated with bone loss can be ruled out.
About half of all women over the age of 50 years and about 1 in 4 people will experience a fracture due to osteoporosis. But there are many things you can do to prevent osteoporosis and avoid painful fractures.
For example, make sure you get a lot of calcium in your daily diet. You can get calcium from food and supplements. You can also check for osteoporosis risk factors and control the risk factors. For example, stop smoking if you are a smoker. If you need medication, visit and consult a doctor about using osteoporosis medication.
An important thing you can do is make sure to do a lot of exercise. Weight training will stimulate the cells that make new bone. By increasing weight training, you encourage the body to form more bone.
This can delay or even reverse the destructive process of osteoporosis which results in painful or debilitating fractures. With regular exercise, you increase muscle strength and flexibility and reduce the possibility of falls and broken bones. Consult your doctor about exercise choices that are right for you.
Understanding osteoporosis treatment is very important for everyone, especially if you have risk factors for this disorder. Osteoporosis treatment includes eating nutritious foods, lifestyle, and osteoporosis medication to prevent further bone loss and fractures.