Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak. The condition can also make the bones so brittle they can break due to minor stresses resulting from coughing or bending. Fractures related to osteoporosis commonly occur in the spine, wrists, and hips. Bone is a tissue that constantly gets broken down and replaced. Therefore, when osteoporosis occurs, it simply means that the rate at which the old bone is broken down is higher than the rate at which it is being replaced. The condition can affect anyone but is more common among older women of European and Asian descent. Below are some important things that you should know about the condition as you seek the attention of a Hudson osteoporosis specialist.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
In the early stages of bone loss caused by osteoporosis, there are usually no noticeable symptoms. However, once the bones have become weak and brittle, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Back pain resulting from collapsed or fractured vertebra
- A gradual loss of height
- Bones that break more easily than they should
- A stooped posture
Causes of Osteoporosis
Bones are always being renewed. Old bones are constantly being broken down and replaced by new ones. When a person is younger, the rate at which new bone is formed is usually higher than the rate at which the old bone is being broken down. This means that your bone keeps gaining in mass. However, this process starts slowing down around the age of twenty and most people get to the peak of their bone mass by the age of thirty. As you age, your bone mass will start decaying faster than it is formed.
Whether you will develop osteoporosis depends on how much bone mass you attained in your youth. This is mainly determined by genetics and it can vary from one person to another. However, the lower the bone mass you attained in your youth, the more likely it is for you to be affected by osteoporosis. Some of the risk factors that are associated with the condition include:
- Sex: if you are a woman, you are more likely to develop osteoporosis compared to men
- Age: The older you get, the higher the risk of getting osteoporosis
- Race: studies show that Whites and Asians are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis compared to other races
- Genetics: If there are close members of your family who have suffered from osteoporosis, then you could be at risk for developing it
- Body frame size: People with a small body frame are at high risk since they are likely to have less bone mass
Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis
Although there is little that people can do about most of the risk factors for osteoporosis, there are a number of things you can try to minimize your risks. For instance, you should maintain a balanced diet to ensure that your body gets all the necessary nutrients and minerals. You should also work on ensuring that you maintain a healthy weight. Ways of treating osteoporosis include bisphosphonates, monoclonal antibody medications, hormone-related therapy, and bone-building medications.