Osteoporosis is a very common disorder affecting the skeleton. In a patient with osteoporosis, the bones begin losing their minerals and support beams, leaving the skeleton brittle and prone to fractures. About 80 percent of people with osteoporosis are women. This is in part because their bone mass is generally less than men, and women tend to live longer than men.
Bone fractures caused by osteoporosis have become very costly. Half of all bone fractures are related to osteoporosis. A person with a hip fracture has a 20 percent chance of dying as a result of the fracture within six months due to other complicating medical conditions such as pneumonia. Many people who have a fracture related to osteoporosis spend considerable time in the hospital and in rehabilitation. Often, they need to spend some time in a nursing home.
WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS?
Osteoporosis means “Porous Bone”
This happens when your bone loses too much calcium and becomes weak. This is very hard to detect clinically and is usually discovered only after a fracture occurs, or if a person shows reduced height or a humping of the back, or suffers low back pain.
A person with osteoporosis has bones that are brittle and fragile. These fragile bones can break very easily with a simple slip or fall or even with no injury at all.
Both men and women can suffer from osteoporosis, but it is most common in woman after menopause (when the monthly period ends).
WHAT CAUSES OSTEOPOROSIS?
The bone is a living tissue. When we are young, any loss of bone is easily replaced. At around the age of 30, our bone is easily replaced. However, as we age, less bone is made and more bone is lost.
After menopause your body’s supply of estrogen decreases and the rate of bone loss increases even further. This is why post-menopausal women are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis.
There are also many other factors that contribute to bone loss such as illnesses, medication and lifestyle choices.
RISK FACTORS INCLUDE:
• Non-violent Fracture
• Early Menopause before age 45
• A member of your immediate family who has osteoporosis
• Underweight or undernourished
• Smoking /Drinking too much alcohol
• Not exercising much or not being able to move for a long period of time
• Not enough calcium or vitamin D
• Certain illnesses /medicines
HOW DO PATIENTS FIND OUT IF THEY HAVE OSTEOPOROSIS?
Osteoporosis can be easily detected through a painless procedure called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). This test measures the density or solidness of the bones, known as the bone mineral density or BMD.
It uses a thin, invisible beam of low-dose X-rays through the region of interest (usually the lumbar spine and the hip) via two energy streams.
A reading is derived and is reflected as units gram per cm. this will tell us whether is there any osteoporosis.
WHAT ARE THE PREVENTION /TREATMENT OPTIONS?
• Calcium / Vitamin D Supplement
• Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
-Higher risk with long term usage
• Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERMS)