October 20 marks World Osteoporosis Day. This day serves as a reminder to focus on bones, taking care that they don’t turn brittle. Like every year, the day will raise awareness among people about osteoporosis, which is a debilitating condition that causes bones to become feeble and brittle.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that makes the bones so brittle that mild coughing or bending can result in fractures in the hip, spine or wrist. The susceptibility to a fracture is due to bones turning fragile. It is common with women who are above 35 of age and especially with those who have recently hit menopause. In an individual with such a condition, the formation of new bone cannot be retained with the loss of old bone.
Even though less likely, Osteoporosis can also hit men. It starts showing up in those people who do not expose to enough sunlight or do not exercise. It is more likely to occur among heavy drinkers and smokers. Exclusion or lesser amounts of calcium intake could also lead to Osteoporosis sometimes. The condition is also genetic on certain occasions and thus, any individual who has a history of fractures in the family could also be prone to Osteoporosis.
Common symptoms include back pain, stooped posture, loss of height over time, and bones that break easily. The pain in the spine area, particularly lower back, could be due to fractures in the vertebrae. It also develops a hump in women as they grow older.
The hip fracture heals very slowly because the bone does not heal quickly and completely.
The most ideal method to detect Osteoporosis is by a dual-energy X-ray. At times, A DEXA could help in pointing at the tiniest of details and treating better when people are unaware that their bones have become brittle.
Medication, exercise and avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol make a huge difference when treating Osteoporosis. Vitamin D is also important to keep the bone strong. Gluten consumption is also recommended against during the treatment.