Osteoporosis: Treatments and Care

Osteoporosis is a condition that severely affects bone heath, degrading bone mass and strength, making them more vulnerable to fractures. Osteoporosis is an age-related disease and is usually caused by a change in hormone levels like oestrogen and testosterone. There are three types of osteoporosis, each with different causes and conditions. They are Primary Type 1 (post-menopausal osteoporosis), Primary Type 2 or Senile Osteoporosis which occurs from age 75 onwards in both females and males. Primary type 2 affects women more than men, at a ratio of 2:1. The third type of osteoporosis or secondary osteoporosis affects men and women equally. It is usually caused by disease or prolonged medication that has weakened the bones. Osteoporosis increase the risk of fractures increases greatly. The hip, shoulder, spine and the wrist are the most susceptible. These fractures can be debilitating, causing severe pain, limited mobility and in some cases cause complications that could lead to paralysis or in some cases even be fatal. Osteoporosis is a manageable condition. Being aware of the risk factors associated with osteoporosis is a big help in preventing the disease and, if already contracted can be controlled and treated accordingly. There are many factors that increase the risk of contracting osteoporosis. These are the common risk factors of osteoporosis

  • Ethnic factors
  • Heredity
  • Gender
  • Previous fractures
  • Calcium and Vitamin D intake
  • Smoking
  • Weight-bearing exercise
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Medication
  • Hormone deficiency

Treating Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a treatable condition. While bone degradation cannot be reversed, there are medicines available that can slow or even stop the progression of osteoporosis. Medical Treatments: Certain classes of drugs like Raloxifene (Evista), Actonel and Fosamax can be taken to prevent the breaking down of bone. These drugs are categorized as Biphosphonates. There are other treatments that can help build bone mass and prevent fractures. Strontium is an element that is close to calcium in the way it interacts with bone, and is believed to help in the formation of the skeleton. It has proven successful in women with osteoporosis by increasing bone density. Care for osteoporosis: People with osteoporosis need to be very careful in their lifestyle. A single misstep could lead to a fall and cause a fracture. Accidents can be prevented by removing furnishings like carpets to prevent tripping or having railings installed on stairways for support while climbing. A few small changes to make a home safer can prevent anything untoward from happening. It’s also important to have A caregiver of hand for support. Osteoporosis sometimes occurs in the elderly, which can be complicated by other conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration that affect the sight. The inability or an impaired ability to see can lead to accidents, which can be a problem combined with osteoporosis.

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