Diseases

Osteoporosis

Bone or joint disease, Geriatric disease

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the density and structure of bone, so that it will be more brittle. Due to osteoporosis, bones lose solidity, they become porous and break more easily than normally. Deterioration in the quality of bone structure is a natural process as one gets older.


Cause

From the thirty-fifth year of life, the body will slowly break down more bone than is created. This results in osteoporosis. There are a number of factors that increase the risk of getting osteoporosis:


Symptoms

Osteoporosis itself has no symptoms. However, there is a higher risk of breaking a bone, for example when falling. Especially wrist and hip fractures are common in people with osteoporosis. The vertebrae may collapse, causing the patient to be smaller and walk crooked. It’s rare that a patient has pain from osteoporosis, but collapsed vertebrae can sometimes cause pain or loss of function.


Diagnosis

Osteoporosis is usually discovered after a fracture. The diagnosis can only be made with certainty with the aid of a special X-ray, in which the density of bones is measured. This is not visible on a normal X-ray.


Treatment

Generally, the patient is only given medications for osteoporosis if the density of the bones has significantly decreased. Some of the drugs that can be prescribed are:


Prognosis

Osteoporosis is a major cause of disability in the elderly. Hip or vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis can reduce mobility or impede breathing. Some forms of osteoporosis can be cured, but if the disease is caused by aging, it cannot be reversed. Osteoporosis is rarely seen as a cause of death.


Considerations

People can do a lot of things themselves to improve the balance between bone development and bone breakdown. Moreover, one can also take measures to prevent falling and accidental bone fractures:


Facts


See also

Anorexia Nervosa

Menopause

Radiography

Alcohol

Calcium

Physical Exercise

Smoking

Vitamin D

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