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Posted On Sep 12, 2022
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Consultant - Spine Care
Manipal Hospitals - Whitefield - Bengaluru
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Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the bones, making them brittle to the point where any slight pressure, even bending, sneezing, and coughing, can result in a sudden fracture. These fractures often occur in the vertebrae of the spine, bones of the hip, and wrist. Though osteoporosis can affect people of any age; it is more common in older people. Elderly women who passed menopause are at a greater risk of osteoporosis. Medication, a balanced diet, and regular exercise can strengthen weak bones and prevent bone loss.
Osteoporosis, in the initial stages, is hard to identify as it shows no symptoms which is why it is sometimes referred to as a “Silent Disease”. However, you can experience a few signs and symptoms once bones start to weaken which include:
Lower back pain
Loss of height
Curve or change in posture
Difficulty in breathing
Seek immediate medical attention, if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above to prevent further progression of the disease. You can book an appointment with a Spine Care Expert in Whitefield Bangalore.
The declination of bone density leads to osteoporosis. Bone is a living tissue that absorbs and produces itself. In osteoporosis, the body fails to produce enough bone tissues to replace the reabsorbed tissues. Aging has been the biggest contributor to this condition because the ability to produce more bone tissue decreases as people age. Other risk factors that may increase your likelihood of developing osteoporosis include:
Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.
People of white and Asian descent are at a higher risk of osteoporosis.
Having an osteoporotic parent/sibling increases your risk, especially with a family history of hip fractures.
Low levels of sex hormones like testosterone in men, and estrogen in women after menopause can cause osteoporosis. Some cancer treatments can reduce these sex hormone levels that may weaken bones.
A diet with low calcium, vitamin D, and protein increases your risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.
Bad lifestyle habits like heavy alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle contribute to weak bones.
Medical conditions such as gastrointestinal disorder and surgery, intestinal surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, specific types of cancer, thyroid, HIV/AIDS, and an eating disorder (anorexia), can raise the risk of osteoporosis.
To diagnose the severity of osteoporosis, your doctor may order a bone density test called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). This test measures the mineral levels in the bones by doing a BMD of your skeleton and various fracture-prone sites, such as the hip and spine. The treatment for Osteoporosis entails treating and preventing fractures as well as using medications to strengthen bones. Visit Manipal Hospitals, Spine Care Hospital in Whitefield Bangalore for the treatment for osteoporosis.
The most commonly prescribed osteoporosis drugs, for both men and women, are called bisphosphonates. Others include alendronate (Fosamax, Binosto), zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa), risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia), and ibandronate (Boniva). These medications must be taken under your doctor’s recommendation otherwise they may cause some side effects including nausea, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, and a risk of an inflamed esophagus or esophageal ulcers.
Estrogen can help maintain bone density in women, especially when taken soon after menopause. However, it can raise the risks of blood clots, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and possibly heart disease. Raloxifene (Evista) is an alternative to estrogen therapy that is equally beneficial and is associated with no major risks estrogen may have. Common side effects of taking this drug include hot flashes and increased blood clots. Parathyroid hormone-induced injection, Teriparatide (Forteo) can also stimulate new bone growth and is prescribed for postmenopausal women.
Testosterone replacement therapy is recommended for men to increase bone density since osteoporosis is associated with a gradual decline in testosterone levels as they age.
A few lifestyle changes can help lower your risk of developing osteoporosis or bone fractures:
Avoid smoking and drinking excessive alcohol.
Have a regular exercise schedule that includes walking, running, stair climbing, jogging, jumping, skipping, cycling, swimming, etc.
Ensure your diet is rich in vitamins and calcium. Eat green leafy vegetables, calcium-fortified cereals and orange juice, soy products such as tofu, etc. Avoid high-fat dairy products. Consider taking vitamin and calcium supplements if needed.
Prevent falls – wear low-heeled sandals and shoes with non-slip soles and keep an eye out for slippery surfaces, rugs, and electrical cords. Make sure bathrooms are dry and have railings or grab bars.
Living with osteoporosis may be difficult, but you can surely manage and decrease the risk of the disease with the help of the above-mentioned preventive measures and therapeutic sessions.
Dr. Ajay Kumar S P
Manipal Hospitals, Whitefield, Bangalore
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