Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle. This can increase the risk of fractures, even from minor falls or bumps. Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because it often doesn't cause any symptoms until a fracture occurs.
Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine. Osteoporosis occurs when the body fails to form enough new bone, or when too much old bone is reabsorbed, or both.
There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of osteoporosis, including:
- Age: Bone density tends to decrease with age, making older individuals more susceptible.
- Gender: Women, especially after menopause, have a higher risk.
- Family history: If you have a family history of osteoporosis, you are at increased risk. Certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as arthritis and celiac disease, can increase your risk of osteoporosis.
- Certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as arthritis and celiac disease, can increase your risk of osteoporosis.
- Certain medications: Some medications, such as corticosteroids and some cancer treatments, can increase your risk of osteoporosis.
- Lifestyle factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a lack of physical activity can all increase your risk of osteoporosis.
Early on, osteoporosis may not cause any symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, you may experience the following:
- Back pain
- Loss of height
- A stooped posture
- Fractures that occur easily
Other symptoms affecting the spine include:
Osteoporosis is typically diagnosed with a bone density test. This test measures the amount of calcium and other minerals in your bones.
There is no cure for osteoporosis, but there are treatments that can help to slow bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures. Treatment options include:
- Medications: There are a number of different medications that can be used to treat osteoporosis. Some medications work by slowing bone loss, while others work by increasing bone density.
- Lifestyle changes: Lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking, can also help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Vertebral Augmentation: If the pain from a fracture is not improving then we inject cement into the vertebrae through a minimal access keyhole type procedure called Vertebroplasty. This stabilises the fracture and improves pain and prevents any further collapse.
Benefits Of Treatment
Treatment for osteoporosis can help to reduce the risk of fractures, which can lead to a number of benefits, including:
- Improved quality of life
- Reduced pain
- Reduced risk of disability
- Reduced risk of death
Risks Of Treatment
All medications have potential side effects. The risks and benefits of each medication should be discussed with your doctor.
Recovery from a fracture can take several weeks or months, depending on the severity of the fracture. During this time, it is important to follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Osteoporosis is a condition that makes bones weak and brittle. This can increase the risk of fractures, even from minor falls or bumps. Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because it often doesn't cause any symptoms until a fracture occurs.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of osteoporosis, including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking. If you have osteoporosis, there are treatments that can help to slow bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures.
If you have any concerns about your bone health, make an appointment. Early detection and appropriate treatment are essential in reducing the risk of fractures and maintaining overall bone health.
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