Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones which is commonly seen in the age groups 35 and above. Osteoporosis means ‘porous bones’, which is also one of the indicative microscopic features of this illness. It weakens the bones, making way for easy and unexpected fracturing.
Though there are no signs and symptoms before osteoporosis happens, the problem begins once the fractures, accompanied by intense pain, become prominent.
Common Signs of Osteoporosis
Most of the common signs of osteoporosis, once it has occurred, are joint and bone pains, loss of height over time, stooped posture and in some cases, easy breakage of bones.
Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis has some predisposing risk factors, including gender. Women above the age of 50 often complain of joint problems, and women who have reached menopause are often diagnosed with osteoporosis. Women are four times more likely to have osteoporosis due to lighter and slimmer bones when compared with men.
Other risk factors include older age, races including individuals with Asian or white descent, family history of osteoporosis and smaller body frames. Other factors which may participate in the occurrence of osteoporosis are sex hormones. If the testosterone in men and the estrogen in women decreases, the density of the bones reduces. Thus further leads to brittle bones, causing fractures. Reduction in estrogen is mostly seen in women who have reached menopause.
Individuals who have low calcium intake also have lower bone density, face early bone loss and increased risk of fractures. Long term use of corticosteroids is seen interfering with the bone-rebuilding process, causing weakness. These factors also contribute to the occurrence of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is also seen in individuals who suffer from diseases like Lupus, Celiac diseases, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, among others. Sedentary lifestyle and consumption of tobacco and alcohol also add to the problem.
Also, read about: Osteoporosis – Guard Against The ‘Silent Thief’
The Relation Between Menopause And Osteoporosis
Menopause is a natural process of the decline in menstruation and fertility in a female. It is commonly seen in women above 45 years of age. A woman is said to have reached menopause if she hasn’t menstruated in over a year. Some of the common signs of menopause include night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, disturbed sleep and urinary problems, among others.
Also, read about: Maintaining good health after Menopause
One of the most common evidence of menopause is the reduction in the estrogen level, which could lead to other symptoms. It is important to note that there is evidence suggesting that the reduction in estrogen leads to the inability of the osteoblasts (bone making cells) to make bone and retain bone mass, finally leading to chances of having osteoporosis.
Read more on preventive measures available for Osteoporosis by Dr Vineesh Mathur, Director- Division of Spine, Institute of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Orthopedics at Medanta – The Medicity
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