What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease which makes your bones thinner, and is characterized by reduced bone mass and a disruption in the bone architecture, and as a consequence there is always the likelihood of it breaking; even a minor fall can become catastrophic. Bone fractures resulting from Osteoporosis can further lead to numerous problems including prolonged pain, stooping of one's posture, trouble to move around, and in the worst case there is the risk of death.
Osteoporosis among Indian women
Women in India are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Studies conducted by small groups across the country have suggested that more than 46 million of the women population in India suffer from osteoporosis. This is 20% of the 230 million Indians who are above the age of 50 years. Osteoporosis has turned out to be a major public health problem among Indian women. The factors that have contributed to such a scenario of high prevalence of osteoporosis among Indian women are low calcium intake, extensive prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency, increased longevity, inequality among sees, menopause at an early age, genetic predisposition, no access to diagnostic facilities, and very little or no knowledge of bone health.
Is Osteoporosis a part of the aging process?
No. It may be typical to lose some bone mass as one ages, but it is not normal to develop osteoporosis. Likewise, it is not normal to experience painful bone fractures, or lose 1 to 1-1/2 inches of one's height. Osteoporosis can be prevented, and it can be treated if diagnosed very early.
Diagnosis of Osteoporosis
BMD or bone mineral density test is used to diagnose osteoporosis. T-Scores are used to show the results of this test. T-Scores will help identify if you have normal bone mass, low bone mass (known as osteopenia), or osteoporosis. A T-Score of -2.5 or lower is a clear indication of osteoporosis. Likewise, the lower the T-Score greater is your risk of having a fracture. If you are older than 50 years and if you have had a fracture without trauma, then in all probability it's osteoporosis.
What follows bone breaks?
A vertebral fracture is a result of bone breakage in the spine. This is found to be the most common breakage resulting from osteoporosis. Such a fracture can affect multiple parts of one's body, besides the spine itself. Vertebral fractures result in loss of height, curving of one's shoulders and back, thickening of one's waistline. One may or may not experience back pain. Based on the location and severity of the vertebral fracture, one may have difficulty in breathing, digestive discomfort, or pain in the stomach. Worse still, it is observed that almost 20% of women who have had a vertebral fracture will experience another spine fracture within a year's time. Further bone breakage in one's wrists, pelvis, legs, arms, ribs may lead to substantial pain and may lead them to being temporarily disabled. Casting, or splinting, or even surgery will become a necessity.
8 Chilling Facts About Osteoporosis
1. It is believed that half of all women will have broken bones resulting from osteoporosis.
2. It is observed that men make up for 20% of all osteoporosis patients.
3. Osteoporosis fracture that results in death is seen more among men than women, and is especially true for hip fractures.
4. Most of the aged people who end up with broken bones are tested positive for osteoporosis.
5. A sneeze is all it takes to break your bones if you have osteoporosis.
6. Deprived of a nutritious diet and subject to a sedentary lifestyle as a child is a sure shot way to develop osteoporosis once an adult.
7. Losing out on your height is a tell tale sign of osteoporosis.
8. Your bones may be losing out to the Vitamin A in your beauty creams. Vitamin A that's always a part of medications for skin treatment puts you at a higher risk for bone loss; it inhibits Vitamin D from reaching the bones.
Visit 1Health Medical Center to consult a specialist orthopedist surgeon if you have any concerns regarding Osteoporosis and want to rule out being affected by the dreaded disease.
1Health Medical Center is also equipped with a diagnostic lab to conduct BMD or bone mineral density test. Please feel free to contact 1Health's number to book an appointment.