Osteoporosis/Bone Mineral Disorders
Osteoporosis refers to low bone density that makes bones prone to fracture easily with minimal to no trauma. The hips and spine are the two most common sites prone to osteoporotic fractures. It develops when bone mineral density and bone mass decrease or when the quality or structure of bone changes. It is a silent disease as you may not get any symptoms. But this can be detected early by a bone density scan.
Losing bone mass at a greater rate can cause your bones to become brittle. This makes the bones fracture easily. There is no exact cause of osteoporosis, but it is likely to develop as a result of:
- Low estrogen level (most common in women after menopause)
- Low testosterone levels in men
- Thin bone structure
- Less calcium and vitamin D intake at early stages of life
- Excessive dieting
- Medical conditions (such as other endocrine and hormonal diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, gastrointestinal diseases, specific types of cancer, anorexia nervosa, and HIV/AIDS.)
- Less physical activities
- Excessive drinking of alcohol and smoking
- Family history
As we mentioned earlier, osteoporosis is a silent disease. Hence it does not have any early symptoms. But if you have the disease, you might get the following symptoms:
- Easy bone fractures caused due to minor stress or trauma
- Loss of height
- Severe pain in the lower back as a result of the affected vertebra.
Osteoporosis is diagnosed with regular check-ups and screening through:
- Bone mineral density (BMD) testing
- Physical examination, such as:
- Loss of height
- Weight loss
- Changes in posture
- Balance and gait
- Muscle strength
These processes help medical services providers to assess the risks of osteoporosis. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests that women over 65 should take these routine check-ups and screenings.
Treatment for the early stages of osteoporosis aims to:
- Prevent or slow down the development of bone loss
- Maximize the individual’s strength to continue with their daily routine
- Maintain healthy BDM and bone mass
- Reduce pain
- Prevent fractures
While treatments for established osteoporosis include medications like:
- RANK ligand inhibitor
- Hormone therapy
- Parathyroid hormone analog
- Monoclonal antibodies
- Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs)
To prevent osteoporosis, you can control your diet and lifestyle. Women can also get hormone therapy to replace lost estrogen as it provides a strong defense against osteoporosis. Other preventive measures might include:
- Proper nutrition intake
- Use of calcium and vitamin D
- Changing lifestyle
- Adding exercise to your routine
- Fall prevention to avoid fractures
When Should You Consult The Doctor
If you feel severe discomfort in any common locations that are likely to get osteoporotic bone damage, it might signify an unspecified fracture. You are advised to seek medical screening if you notice this type of pain.
On the other hand, if you face any of the following risk factors, you must consult a doctor for screening:
- Early menopause
- Your parents had a hip fracture history
- Took corticosteroids for several months
- You had a fall
Osteoporosis / Bone Mineral Specialist in Houston, TX?
Searching for a bone and joint clinic to get your bone density test done?
Services of Houston Endocrine center include bone density tests, a guide for preventing osteoporosis, treatments, and medication. Our medical center has the best osteoporosis specialists in Texas.