Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue. If you have osteoporosis you are at a larger risk of fractured or broken bones. Osteoporosis is the number one cause for one point five million fractures a year in the United States. This disease cannot be prevented and if left untreated it will progress and may cause other problems or complications. You are at a larger risk of osteoporosis if you have a low bone mass. About ten million people have osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is caused when there is an imbalance between new bone formation and old resorption. This may then lead to the body not making enough new bone or too much of the old bone may be reabsorbed or even both can occur. The two main minerals in normal bone formation are phosphate and calcium. If the body does not consume enough calcium bone production and bone tissue may suffer. This causes the bones to be weak and the bones can be broken very easily. Another cause of osteoporosis is the lack of hormones such as estrogen in women and androgen in men. There are healthcare courses available for additional training. Some other conditions that might lead to this disease include overuse of corticosteroids, thyroid problems, bone cancer, and other genetic disorders. Women are at a greater risk than men. Cigarette smoking, eating disorders, and use of certain medications are big risk factors of osteoporosis.
Early in the disease of osteoporosis there may be no symptoms or signs. Many people get arthritis and osteoporosis confused. Later in the disease there may be dull pain in the bones and muscles. These pains may come on suddenly and do not spread to other areas of the body. The pains may last up to three months and may worsen. Some symptoms may include severe back pain, loss of height and stooped posture, and a curve in the upper back. Another very popular sign is broken bones that will occur with a minor injury.
It is very important to take care of osteoporosis and treat it correctly. If you have any terrible pains in the muscles or bones that limit your ability to function it is very important to seek medical assistance. When you meet with a doctor they will ask you questions about past health history and see if you are at risk of osteoporosis. The doctor will also most likely ask you about family history of the disease or broken bones. Blood tests may also be done to measure the amount of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and see how well the kidneys and thyroid function. After physical examination and there is still questions and concerns the doctor may request a bone mineral density test. It measures the bone density in various sites of the body. It can also detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs and predict future fractures. Bone mineral density test can also keep track of the effects of treatments and may help determine the rate of bone loss. There are several ways to measure bone density and they are all painless and safe.