Osteoporosis is a disease which occurs due to decreased bone density. This decrease is slow and gradually for years without any signs or symptoms. This is why osteoporosis is often said as a silent disease. Symptoms appear when the disease gets worse, as a broken bone, again intuition, body height loss and back pain.
About 80% of patients with osteoporosis are women. Correlates with the fact that menopausal women have that make them lose estrogen, a hormone with a function to record calcium from the bones. But men can also suffer from osteoporosis. One in five men over 50 suffer from this disease.
Causes and risk factors for osteoporosis
What is the real cause of osteoporosis? Certain factors play a role in causing the disease. Here they are:
1. The post-menopausal osteoporosis. This occurs due to decreased estrogen, the main gonadal hormone in a woman who has a function to store calcium in the bones.
2. Senile osteoporosis, presumably due to the lack of calcium intake throughout life. Has a correlation with age and the imbalance of bone destruction and formation.
3. Secondary osteoporosis is caused by health or other drug-induced. Osteoporosis can be caused by chronic kidney disease, hyperparathyroidism, corticosteroid use long, barbiturates, alcohol abuse and snuff, etc., may worsen osteoporosis.
4. Idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis, a kind of osteoporosis with an unknown cause. Strikes children and adolescents with normal hormone levels and function of natural vitamin and not an exact cause of bone fragility.
These are the risk factors:
1. Women. Correlates with the decline in estrogen (35) and the menopause.
2. Age. The older, more likely to have osteoporosis.
3. Carrera. Whites and Asians are at higher risk. It is often due to low calcium intake of Asian women. Descendants of African Americans and Hispanics are less likely.
4. Family history of osteoporosis. If a loved one has osteoporosis, you should be careful. People with osteoporosis attack the specific nature of the bone such as bone structure, even in a family.
5. The healthy lifestyle, including:
Excessive consumption of red meat and soda. Both contain phosphorus, which can stimulate the secretion of parathyroid hormone that causes the release of calcium from bone to blood.
Caffeine and alcohol. They can cause brittle bones and damaged. The urine of an alcohol or caffeine containing more calcium from bone destruction. Also, caffeine and alcohol is toxic to inhibit the formation of bone mass.
Lazy to play sports. One who is lazy to move or play sports will be a process of osteoblast inhibition. The movements and sports are a good stimulation of bone formation. Lazy move also reduces bone density.
Smoking. Nicotine can stimulate bone resorption. Also reduces the level of estrogen and activity.
Low blood calcium. This will cause the body to secrete hormones that cause the blood takes calcium from other parts of the body, including bones.
6. Drug use. Corticosteroids are used in asthma and allergic patients may inhibit bone formation. Heparin and antiepileptic drugs can do the same. Consult your doctor before using these medications.
7. Thin and small. This position tends to make the body lighter. The bones are diligent to form cells if they are supported by heavy vehicles. Therefore, thin people and the small increased risk of osteoporosis.
How to diagnose osteoporosis
If someone, for example, a woman 70 years of age showed a symptom of osteoporosis as a bone fracture, the diagnosis of osteoporosis be confirmed on the basis of signs and symptoms that are known. The doctor will also ask if you have risk factors for osteoporosis. Then he / she will do a physical exam and X-ray examination Other tests may be necessary to find another possible fracture.
Screening for osteoporosis
I mentioned earlier that osteoporosis is a silent disease, so if you want to know if you have this disease or not, you have to do a screening test. The evidence points to know the density of the bones and determine the severity of the risks of the disease.
Here are some screening tests to diagnose osteoporosis before:
1. DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) densitometer. It is a gold standard for diagnosing osteoporosis. This test is painless and can be done within 5 to 15 minutes. This is a useful test in the diagnosis and detection. It can be used to confirm a doubtful diagnosis. It is useful for a woman with a high risk of osteoporosis and for a patient in a therapy that requires an accurate assessment.
2. U.S. Government (ultrasound) densitometer. This is the common device for the detection of osteoporosis. The result of this test varies widely called the T-score:
> -1: A bone density
At -2.5 -1: osteopenia (low bone density)
It’s cheaper and more convenient and painless.
Treatment of osteoporosis
Therapy and medication for osteoporosis have a goal to increase bone density, to reduce extra-fracture, and pain control. To determine the best therapy is multidisciplinary aspects. A team of surgical service, domestic service, obstetrics and gynecology will be involved. A clinical nutritionist should be consulted.
Appropriate therapy is given with the patient’s need. If a bone fracture, the physician shall consider whether you need surgery or a brace. After that, the patient must take physical therapy to rehabilitate the capacity of the bones.
Pharmacological treatment is necessary to prevent another fracture. Can be administered to patients who did not experience a fracture, but suffer from osteoporosis, for example, of a projection. The following medicines:
1. Bisphosphonates. This drug is useful in preventing damage to the bone, to restore bone mass and increase bone density, in particular the back and hip. The medicines in this group are risedronate, alendronate, pamidronate, chlodronate, zoledronate (zoledronic acid) and ibandronic acid.
2. Modulator selective estrogen receptor (SERMs). It’s kind of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. It is effective in reducing bone turnover and slow bone resorption. An example of SERM is raloxifene.
3. The metabolites of vitamin D is calcitriol and alpha calcidol. They have the ability to help the body absorb calcium.
4. Calcitonin. This medication is suggested to someone who had spine fracture with pain. This medicine may be injected or administered by nasal spray.
5. Strontium ranelate. This drug enhances bone formation by activating osteoblasts and collagen formation and bone resoprtion also decreases with decreasing osteoclast activity.