Osteoporosis is a chronic condition. Osteoporosis occurs when there is an imbalance between the replacements of lost bone tissue. It affects both men and women. It is a common diagnosis made for older people, especially the women. However, it is not rare for young people, especially those who have multiple diseases.
Osteoporosis is more prevalent in the whites and Asians but affects all races.
There are several causes which may lead to osteoporosis from the dietary factors, hormonal factors, medications and even genetics play a role.
It develops over several years before the symptoms can be felt.
Most of the symptoms are not usually life threatening but can be very discomforting and a nuisance.
Some of the symptoms may include the ones listed below:
They are usually referred to as pathological fractures. Usually, normal bone is able to withstand a certain amount of stress on it. However, osteoporotic bones are brittle and mostly fracture at the slightest instance.
The wrist (Colles fractures), the hip and the skeletal vertebrae are the common sites of pathological fractures.
The fragility fractures can even be caused by a simple sneeze that can lead to rib fractures.
It is not usually painful until when a fracture occurs. The neck and the back are usually the most common pain complaints. The pain can range from very mild to severe excruciating pain. When the vertebrae are compressed, they can lead to compression of the nerves at the nerve roots.
3. Loss of Height
This mostly occurs as a result of compression fractures of the vertebrae. It is, in fact, the most visible symptom. Initially, it may be mild but over time of bone loss and bone thinning the loss of height becomes very significant.
4. Posture loss
Over a period of time, the compression fractures of the vertebrae worsen. This will in turn lead to slight angling of the back. The posture is distorted because the bones can barely fully support the weight of the body. This can cause a myriad of symptoms. For example, it can lead to excessive pressure on the airway and may impair breathing.
This occurs when the bone is excessively thinned over time. It is one of the warning signs foe osteoporosis and warrants one to have a medical evaluation. Osteopenia can present with complications which can be devastating.
In summary, osteoporosis presents with a list of non-specific symptoms. It is, therefore, important for one to identify if they are at a higher risk of osteoporosis and always ensure they go for regular checkups.
For instance, pathological fractures can occur in rickets and even bone malignancy. Osteoporosis can be managed by diet and some pain medications. Osteoporosis can be prevented by three important factors; regular exercise, intake of calcium, and adequate exposure to vitamin D.
It is vital for early management of osteoporosis in order to lead to a better quality of life. The consequences of osteoporosis can lead to severe disability and a poor quality of life.