– Osteoporosis -causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Treatment of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist.Osteoporosis is a disease of bone that leads to an increased risk of fracture. In osteoporosis the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced, bone micro architecture is disrupted, and the amount and variety of non-collage nous proteins in bone is altered. Osteoporosis is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in women as a bone mineral density 2.5 standard deviations below peak bone mass (20-year-old healthy female average) as measured by DXA;

Risk factors of Osteoporosis
Age. The older you get, the higher your risk of osteoporosis. Your bones become weaker as you age.
Race. You’re at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you’re white or of Southeast Asian descent. Black and Hispanic men and women have a lower, but still significant, risk.

Sex. Osteoporosis is more common in women than men. Eighty percent, or four out of five, of the 10 million Americans who have it are women. There are several reasons for this. Women have lighter, thinner bones to begin with. They also lose loose bone rapidly after menopause.

The factors that may contribute to osteoporosis are not well defined. For example, studies by the U.S. National Institute of Child and Human Development (NICHD) have shown that irregular menstrual periods in young women may signal a hormonal shortage that could lead to osteoporosis.

Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease”, because bone loss occurs without symptoms. People may not know that they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes a bone to fracture or a vertebra to collapse. However, there may be a chronic, dull pain particularly in the lower back or neck, which may become sharp later in the course of the disease.

Later in the course of the disease, sharp pains may come on suddenly. It may not radiate; it may be made worse by activity that puts weight on the area, may be tender, and generally begins to subside in 1 week. Pain may linger more than 3 months.

Treatment of Osteoporosis
Although osteoporosis has no cure, several types of medications are available to reduce the rate of bone loss, increase bone density, and reduce the number of fractures. In general, they work in two main ways: they lessen bone break down (anti-resorptive agents) or they stimulate the formation of new bone (anabolic agents).

Hormone therapy
Hormone therapy (HT) was once the mainstay of treatment for osteoporosis. But because of concerns about its safety and because other treatments are available, the role of hormone therapy in managing osteoporosis is changing. Most problems have been linked to certain oral types of HT, either taken in combination with progestin or alone.In addition, it is important to get enough vitamin D. A daily intake of 400 IU, but no more than 800 IU, each day is recommended. Obtaining adequate amounts of vitamin D from our food may be difficult. The main sources of dietary vitamin D are fortified milk (100 IU/cup), egg yolks (25 IU/yolk) and oily fish (vitamin D content varies).