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World Osteoporosis Day: What is Osteoporosis, Symptoms of this Silent Disease

To raise awareness about this disease, World Osteoporosis Day is observed on October 20 across the globe (Image: Shutterstock)

To raise awareness about this disease, World Osteoporosis Day is observed on October 20 across the globe (Image: Shutterstock)

For 2021, the theme for World Osteoporosis Day is 'Serve Up Bone Strength'.

Due to the loss of mineral density, bones become weak and brittle. This condition is known as Osteoporosis. A sudden pressure like sneezing could even lead to fracture when one is suffering from low bone density. Usually, diseases have symptoms because of which it is easy to diagnose at an early stage. As far as Osteoporosis is concerned, there are no loud symptoms and it progresses quietly, hence, it is named ‘silent disease’.

To raise awareness about this disease, World Osteoporosis Day is observed on October 20 across the globe. For the first time, the day was celebrated in 1996 by United Kingdom’s National Osteoporosis Society. The theme for 2021 has been decided to be Serve Up Bone Strength.

On the occasion of World Osteoporosis Day, we bring you early signs and later-stage symptoms of the disease. The early signs might not always mean that you are suffering from the condition, hence, one must visit the doctor if required.

Early signs of osteoporosis:

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The handgrip of an individual is weakened due to low mineral density in the bones.

Weak and brittle nails might be an indication of osteoporosis.

Later-stage symptoms:

Loss of height: Weak bones lead to spinal compression which further makes the person an inch or shorter over time. As a result of compression fracture of the spine, a small curvature of the spine can occur which can result in bending forward (kyphosis).

Shortness of breath: Weak bones cause a compression fracture of the spine, while a collapsed vertebra puts pressure on the lungs.

Bone fractures: If you have weak, brittle, or fragile bones, a powerful sneeze or twisting of legs could lead to bone fracture.

Constant pain in the lower back and neck.

Doctors always advise that it is important to diagnose osteoporosis at an early stage to avoid complications. Osteoporosis can be managed by making lifestyle changes, medication, and dietary modifications. But some non-healing fractures might even require surgical management in the form of replacement procedures or even spine surgery.

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first published:October 20, 2021, 15:29 IST