Osteoporosis is a disease characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture (broken bones) particularly of the hip, spine,wrist and shoulder. It is also known as the silent thief because bone loss occurs without symptom.Bones that are affected by osteoporosis Fracture with relatively minor injury that normally would not cause a bone to fracture. Osteoporosi scan be present with any symptoms for decades because osteoporosis does not cause symptoms until bone breaks (fractures). Some osteoporosis fractures may escape detection for many years especially if there are no symptoms. Therefore, patients may not be aware of their osteoporosis until they suffer a painful fracture.However, the common symptoms usually associated with osteoporosis fracture is intense pain at the site of the fracture.Fractures of the spine can cause severe band like pain that radiates from the back to the sides of the body. Over the years, repeated spinal fractures can lead to chronic lower back pain as well as loss of height and or curving of the spine due to collapse of the vertebrae. The collapse gives individuals a hunched back appearance of the upper back, often called a dowager hump because it is commonly seen in elderly women. Once a person has experience a spine fracture due to osteoporosis, he or she is at very high risk of suffering another such fracture in the near future.
Osteoporosis bone fractures are causes considerable pain, decreased quality of life, lost work days and disability.About 30% of patients suffering from hip fracture due to osteoporosis will require long-term nursing home care. Elderly patients can develop pneumonia and blood clots in the leg veins which can travel to the lungs due to prolonged bed rest after a hip fracture. Osteoporosis can be treated and prevented through lifestyle changes such as quitting cigarette smoking, regular exercise, consuming a balanced diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D. Taking medications that increase bone formation and those that stop bone loss and increase bone strength.
The following are factors that will increase the risk of developing osteoporosis;
- Mal-absorption (Nutrients are not properly absorbed from the gastrointestinal system) from bowel diseases, such as celiac sprue that can be associated with skin diseases such as dermatitis herpetiformis.
- Female Gender
• Thin and small body frame
• Family history of osteoporosis example, having a mother with anosteoporotic hip fracture doubles your risk of hip fracture.
• Personal history of fracture as an adult
• Cigarette smoking
• Excessive alcohol consumption
- Lack of exercise
• Diet low in Calcium
• Poor nutrition and poor general health especially associated withchronic inflammation or bowel disease.
• Chemotherapy that can cause early menopause due to its toxic effectson the ovaries.
• Low estrogen levels in women which may occur in menopause or with early surgical removal of both ovaries.
• Chronic inflammation due to chronic inflammatory arthritis ordiseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or liver diseases.
• Lack of vitamin D in the body.
• Immobility, such as after a stroke or from any condition that interferes with walking.