Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis ?

Osteoporosis, which literally means porous bone, is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. As bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture is greatly increased. The loss of bone occurs silently and progressively. Often there are no symptoms until the first fracture occurs.

Overview

Our bones are living tissue and constantly changing. From the moment of birth until young adulthood, bones are developing and strengthening. Our bones are at their most dense in our early 20s – called peak bone mass. As we age some of our bone cells begin to dissolve bone matrix (resorption), while new bone cells deposit osteoid (formation). This process is known as remodeling.For people with osteoporosis, bone loss outpaces the growth of new bone. Bones become porous, brittle and prone to fracture.

Symptoms

Osteoporosis develops slowly, and a person may not know they have it until they experience a fracture or break after a minor incident, such as a fall. Even a cough or sneeze can cause a break in osteoporotic bones. If a break occurs in the spinal vertebrae, it can lead to changes in posture, a stoop, and curvature of the spine. People might also notice a decrease in height or their clothes may not fit as well as they did previously.

Causes

Doctors have identified several risk factors for osteoporosis. Some are modifiable, but it is not possible to avoid others.

The following are the non-modifiable or unavoidable risk factors:

The following are the modifiable or avoidable risk factors:

Weight bearing exercise helps prevent osteoporosis. It places controlled stress on the bones, which encourages bone growth.

Diagnosis

To diagnose osteoporosis and assess your risk of fracture and determine your need for treatment, a doctor will order a bone density scan. This exam is used to measure bone mineral density (BMD). It is most commonly performed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) or bone densitometry. The amount of x-rays absorbed by tissues and bone is measured by the DXA machine and correlates with bone mineral density.

The following procedures can be performed to determine bone fractures due to osteoporosis:

Treatment

Medication

If you have osteoporosis, your doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent more bone loss or build new bone mass. The most common types of medicine to prevent or treat osteoporosis include:

Your doctor may also suggest getting more calcium, vitamin D, and physical activity.

Few of the infusion medications used are: