We all know that bone health is one of the most neglected factors in our daily routine life especially in aging individual. A the one grows from childhood his bone also acquire bone mass which give us strength however this continues only till 30 years of age followed by there is continuous decline in bone mass. Once a lady develops menopause (cessation of menstruation) there is rapid decline in bone mass, which lead to increase frequency of osteoporosis in women. However after the age of 70 both men and women are at equal risk of developing osteoporosis.
What are the Reasons for Osteoporosis?
The most important reason for osteoporosis is, as I mentioned above, menopause which causes rapid bone loss hence women who has undergone surgery for uterus removal along with ovary removal at young age has increase chances of osteoporosis.
Other than menopause inadequate intake of vitamin D and calcium also lead to increase loss of bone, which can be due to inadequate milk and milk products intake. Now a day, most of our population is vitamin D inadequate as has been shown in various research studies done in India. Hence it is recommended that most of our elderly population should be on regular Vitamin D intake under supervision of experts.
Lack of physical activity has also become quite common problem in modern lifestyle which lead to decrease muscle bulk and increase bone loss hence a regular exercise schedule is must to prevent osteoporosis.
Other lifestyle issue, which is quite common, is smoking and alcohol intake and in research it has been shown that both are detrimental to bone health and lead to increase chances of fracture.
There are various other endocrine disease, bone related disease and medications which can lead to decrease in bone mass and increases fracture risk.
How it can be Diagnosed
Osteoporosis doesn’t have any symptoms until there is fracture. Vertebral fractures are quite common with osteoporosis and sometime patient presents with complain of backache, forward stooping of back or with more severe hip fracture, which increase risk of death in person and also causes limitation of movement. Hence it is recommended that every woman more than 65 years of age and men more than 70 years of age should under go testing for osteoporosis. Testing for osteoporosis is quite simple and requires DEXA Scan of your hip and spine. If your doctor suspect any vertebral fracture it can be also detected in DEXA scan.
What are the Treatment Options Available?
First and foremost adequate physical activity and nutritious food is must for adequate bone health. Other than this adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium is necessary in treatment of osteoporosis.
Lifestyle modification in form of quitting of smoking and alcohol is of utmost importance. Women who have undergone surgery for uterus and ovary or for some reason have menopause prior to age of 40 years should be treated with hormone replacement therapy to prevent bone loss in consultation with there treating expert.
There are numbers of medication available for treatment of osteoporosis in both oral and injectable forms with different indications for them, however none of these drugs are without side effects and they should be taken under supervision of osteoporosis expert.
Is it Possible to Prevent it?
Though not completely however it can be delayed by adopting healthy lifestyle as mentioned above. A regular intake of calcium and vitamin D helps in prevention of osteoporosis. Other than this achieving good bone mass in younger age group by healthy eating and regular exercises helps in delaying significant osteoporosis.