Jun 28, 2014
Osteoporosis or Brittle Bone Disease.
Translating Osteoporosis from its Greek origins it simply means “porous bones”. The spaces within the bone matrix that should be filled with calcium are now empty or nearly so. Bones stripped of calcium loose their strength and become fragile and easily broken.
Incidence of Osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis is an extremely common bone disease. As many as one in two women and one in five men, over the age of 50 will have a fractured bone due to Osteoporosis. Here are two common myths that need to be dispelled immediately:
• That Osteoporosis only affects older people. This is NOT true. It manifests itself in older people but its onset is much much earlier often in your twenties or thirties.
• That Osteoporosis only affects women. This is not so. It affects men as well only not to the same extent.
What are the causes of Osteoporosis?:
In order for your bones to be properly calcified you need three things:
1. Adequate calcium in your diet.
2. Adequate intake of vitamin D
3. Normal hormonal levels.
No matter how good your calcium intake is, it can not get into your bones without adequate oestrogen and progesterone in women or testosterone in men. In addition to that you need vitamin D. These are what I call the “wheelbarrows” for getting calcium into your bones.
On top of that there are other factors that lead to Osteoporosis. In the main these are:
• A family history of Osteoporosis -- genetic factor.
• An overactive parathyroid gland.
• Lack of exercise.
• Too much mental stress.
• Inadequate hormone levels. Post menopausal women and testosterone deficient men.
• Certain medications particularly the long-term use of steroids.
If any of these factors apply to you then you should consider having a DEXA scan to determine your level of bone mineralisation. Once the presence of Osteoporosis is determined then the exact cause needs to be identified and dealt with.
How is osteoporosis treated?
You can not adequately treat osteoporosis without knowing the cause. Find the cause first and then correct that cause. This may involve hormone replacement therapy or surgery if the problem is coming for your parathyroid. However, increased exercise will always be part of the treatment of osteoporosis.
What are the symptoms of Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a silent disease. Awareness and a high level of suspicion should prompt you to have a DEXA scan and then to address the problem should it exist.. Otherwise sadly a fractured hip, wrist or vertebrae are all too often the first symptom of this insidious disease.
If you are worried that you might have Osteoporosis and would like some help or support in dealing with it, then we are here to help you.