Osteoporosis – Osteopenia, Osteomalacia, Bone Density

Osteoporosis Disease
Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin

Osteoporosis Disease

Osteoporosis disease happens when bone density decreases and the body stops producing as much bone as it did before.

It can affect both males and females, but it is most likely to occur in women after menopause, because of the sudden decrease in estrogen, the hormone that normally protects against osteoporosis.

As the bones become weaker, there is a higher risk of a fracture during a fall or even a fairly minor knock.

Osteoporosis Disease & Prevention Click To Tweet

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis” literally means “porous bones.” The bones become weaker, increasing the risk of fractures, especially in the hip, spinal vertebrae, and wrist.

Bone tissue is constantly being renewed, and new bone replaces old, damaged bone. In this way, the body maintains bone density and the integrity of its crystals and structure.

Bone density peaks when a person is in their late 20s. After the age of around 35 years, bone starts to become weaker. As we age, bone breaks down faster than it builds. If this happens excessively, osteoporosis results.

Osteoporosis Symptoms 

Bone loss that leads to osteoporosis develops slowly. There are often no symptoms or outward signs, and a person may not know they have it until they experience a fracture after a minor incident, such as a fall, or even a cough or sneeze.

Commonly affected areas are the hip, a wrist, or spinal vertebrae.

Breaks in the spine can lead to changes in posture, a stoop, and curvature of the spine

Osteoporosis Causes

A number of risk factors for osteoporosis have been identified. Some are modifiable, but others cannot be avoided

Unavoidable factors

Non-modifiable risk factors include:

  • Age: Risk increases after the mid-30s, and especially after menopause.
  • Reduced sex hormones: Lower estrogen levels appear to make it harder for the bone to reproduce.
  • Ethnicity: White people and Asians are more susceptible than other ethnic groups.
  • Bone structure: Being tall (over 5 feet 7 inches) or slim (weighing under 56 kgs) increases the risk.
  • Genetic factors: Having a close family member with a diagnosis of hip fracture or osteoporosis makes osteoporosis more likely.
  • Fracture history: Someone who has previously experienced a fracture during a low-level injury, especially after the age of 50 years, is more likely to receive a diagnosis.
Diet and lifestyle choices

Modifiable risk factors include:

  • eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia nervosa, or orthorexia
  • tobacco smoking
  • excessive alcohol intake
  • low levels or intake of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, due to dietary factors, malabsorption problems, or the use of some medications
  • inactivity or immobility

Weight-bearing exercise helps prevent osteoporosis. It places stress on the bones, and this encourages bone growth.

Drugs and health conditions

Some diseases or medications cause changes in hormone levels, and some drugs reduce bone mass.

Diseases that affect hormone levels include hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, and Cushing’s disease.

Conditions that increase the risk include:

Medications that raise the risk include:

  • glucocorticoids and corticosteroids, including prednisone and prednisolone
  • thyroid hormone
  • anticoagulants and blood-thinners, including heparin and warfarin
  • protein-pump inhibitors (PPIs) and other antacids that adversely affect the mineral status
  • some antidepressant medications
  • some vitamin A (retinoid) medications
  • thiazide diuretics
  • thiazolidinediones used to treat type 2 diabetes, as these decrease bone formation
  • some immunosuppressant agents, such as cyclosporine, which increase both bone resorption and formation
  • aromatase inhibitors and other treatments that deplete sex hormones, such as anastrozole, or Arimidex
  • some chemotherapeutic agents, including letrozole (Femara), used to treat breast cancer and leuprorelin (Lupron) for prostate cancer and other conditions

Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis is the most common type of drug-induced osteoporosis.

How to Prevent Osteoporosis?

Certain alterations to lifestyle can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Calcium and vitamin D

Calcium is essential for bones, and ensuring an adequate calcium intake is important.

Adults aged 19 years and above should consume 1,000 milligrams (mg) a day. Women aged 51 years and over, and all adults from 71 years should have a daily intake of 1,200 mg.

Dietary sources are preferable and include:

If a person’s dietary intake is not enough, supplements are an option.

Vitamin D plays a key role, as it helps the body absorb calcium. Dietary sources include fortified foods, saltwater fish, and liver.

However, most vitamin D does not come from food but from sun exposure, so moderate, regular exposure to sunlight is recommended.

Calcium and vitamin D Test

Do check your calcium and vitamin d levels from the blood. Any abnormality or variation should be consulted with your family doctor.

Lifestyle factors for preventing Osteoporosis

Other ways to minimize the risk are:

  • not smoking, as this can reduce the growth of new bone and decrease estrogen levels in women
  • limiting alcohol intake, to encourage healthy bones and prevent falls
  • getting regular weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, as this promotes healthy bone and strengthens support from muscles
  • doing exercises to promote flexibility and balance, such as yoga, as these can reduce the risk of falls and fractures

For people who already have osteoporosis, nutrition, exercise, and fall prevention play a key role in reducing risks and bone loss.

Learn About: Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Osteopenia vs Osteoporosis

Osteopenia is sometimes confused with osteoporosis. Although both conditions are related to bone density, they are not the same thing.

Osteopenia involves below normal levels of bone density. Osteoporosis is considered more serious than osteopenia because the extent of the bone loss is more severe.

Osteoporosis leaves bones fragile, which can lead to bone fractures even from minor falls. It can also lead to stooped posture, loss of height, and a collapsed vertebra.

Both osteoporosis and osteopenia are very common.

It is important to understand that people with osteopenia are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.

Osteomalacia vs Osteoporosis

Osteomalacia is a weakening of the bones. Problems with the bone formation or the bone-building process cause osteomalacia.

This condition isn’t the same as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a weakening of living bone that is already formed and being remodelled.

A lack of vitamin D is the most common cause of osteomalacia. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps you absorb calcium in your stomach.

Bone Density Test

A bone density test is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. This test helps to estimate the density of your bones and your chance of breaking a bone. Doctors recommend a bone density test of the hip and spine by a central DXA machine to diagnose osteoporosis. DXA stands for dual energy x-ray absorptiometry.

healthcare nt sickcare

Get Us IN +919766060629

All material copyright healthcare nt sickcare. 2017 – 2020. Terms and conditions & Privacy Policy of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: This article inspired from various online articles and our own offline experiences. The content meant for public awareness and regular post to the clientele of healthcare nt sickcare.

Know How We Give-Back

Create My Account

Shop With Us

Offer Of The Month

Bone Infection

Subscribe to our Latest Blog

Get Instant Notification Of Our Blog On Preventive Healthcare, Wellness, Pathology Laboratory, Diseases And Disorders

Share this article and spread the care

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on tumblr
Share on whatsapp

Post Your Opinion

you're currently offline but continue browsing

Invite & Earn

Signup to start sharing your link
Scroll to Top
refer and earn 25% discount on lab test in pune

Share & Earn

  • Copy & Share Your Referral Link Displayed Below
  • Your Referred User's Can Register via Your Shared Link
  • Get 25% Coupon In Your Dashboard On Your Referral Order Completion
  • Your Referred Users Will Also Get 10% On Signup

Copy & Share Your Referral Link Now

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
× Chat