June 9, 2018 Source: Internal - Gleb Danylov - Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones in the body become incredibly more fragile increasing the chances of broken bones. This usually occurs in the bones of the hip, spine and wrists, but can also occur in any skeletal bone. Normal bone is mostly composed of collagen and calcium phosphate, which give bone its strength. However, people with osteoporosis have a decreased amount of these minerals in your bones, making them less dense making them more susceptible to cracking and fractures. It has been found that osteoporosis affects over 10 million Americans over the age of 50 and 44 million have been predicted to have low density.
Who is at risk for osteoporosis
There is no definite cause of osteoporosis, however there are many factors that increase your risks of developing it. Calcium is very important for your bones, providing them with strength to be able to withstand any mechanical resistance. However, your body's capabilities of absorbing calcium decrease making them more fragile. Furthermore it has been found that women have a four times higher chance of getting osteoporosis than men, especially women that have went through menopause. Also certain lifestyle factors such as lack of physical activity, and vitamin D deficiency may all increase your risk.
Symptoms of osteoporosis
Often patients will not experience any symptoms of osteoporosis until it is too late, and a bone has been fractured. Therefore, if you are experiencing any signs such as brittle nails, back pain and frequent joint pain it would be highly recommended to check with a doctor to diagnose osteoporosis.
The doctor will take an x-ray, since patients with osteoporosis have much thinner and lighter bones than usual. In addition to an x-ray, there are other tests such as the T-score test that compare bone densities in terms of standard deviations.
There is currently no treatment to alleviate or reverse any of the damage done by osteoporosis. However, it has been found that taking selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) have been found to help maintain bone density and reduce the risk of fracture. Furthermore, taking vitamins and minerals for bone strength such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin D can prevent the further development of osteoporosis.