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Osteoporosis – Definition, Causes and Prevention

Our body consists of various systems, out of which the skeletal system is the one which provides the requisite support to our body. We all know that bone is a tissue which primarily consists of calcium and protein. The system is regularly and dynamically being remodeled as some amount is being absorbed in the body and some amount is being replaced. The system doesn’t pose any problems if the rate of absorption and replacement are equal but trouble comes in when the rate of absorption is more than the rate of replacement. The condition causes a deterioration in the skeletal structure and bones to become weaker day by day, making them prone to breaking. The condition ,called osteoporosis  should be taken seriously and if treatment is not availed on time, it might lead to breakage and fractures. A Bone Doctor is the best person to approach for treatment.He is the specialist in all ailments related to bones.

What causes osteoporosis?

It is the culprit behind nearly 2 million fractures each year.Most of the patients are unaware that they are suffering from this condition until a fracture occurs. The exact reason for the condition is difficult to point out. But a number of factors can be categorized –

1. Reduced estrogen levels

2. Less physical  activity

3. Aging

4. Excessive secretion of thyroid and cortisone hormone

5. Genetic factors

6. Smoking

7.  Alcoholism

The most common affected organs

The bone loss is more evident in places like the spine, lower forearm(above the wrist), the upper femur or thigh area.

After the age of 25, bone mass gradually starts decreasing.While women end up losing more bone density (30% to 50%),men incur less loss(20% to 30 %).

Women start losing bone calcium at an exceptionally fast rate after they hit their menopause. Fewer Estrogen levels mark the post menopause phase.The bone mass starts becoming less as estrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining bone strength. Consult your family gynecologist to start the therapy as soon as you undergo menopause. Estrogen replacement therapy and certain medications help in treating the condition.

Prevention

The condition can be prevented by adopting a health-conscious lifestyle, which consists of a nutritious diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.One must avoid alcohol and undertake regular exercise scedule to ensure that adequate bone mass is maintained. Activities such as dancing, jogging and walking should be incorporated into the weekly, if not daily routine.

Treatment

One should start the treatment as soon as possible but in some cases, the problem comes to light only when a fracture occurs and the damage has been done. Current treatments offer only a reduction in bone loss. Replacement of the bone loss is still not entirely possible. It’s better that one takes good care of the bone structure during one’s early years to reap the benefits in the later years.

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