The human body rests on a framework made almost entirely of bones. Bones are, therefore, vital as far as the body structure is concerned. This is in addition to the fact that red blood cells are generated within the bone marrow. Healthy bones, therefore, contribute a lot to the overall health of an individual. However, bones get infections and diseases just like other body parts. These range from bone cancer to osteoporosis amongst many other diseases. This paper presents the case of osteoporosis by defining it and outlining its causes, symptoms, testing and diagnosis, and treatment.
Osteoporosis is primarily a disease characterised by reduced bone strength that makes it susceptible to fracture. Bone strength is measured by establishing the bone mineral density (BMD), also called the bone mass. Persons suffering from osteoporosis have low bone mass/BMD (Adler, 2009). It is mostly prevalent among women aged 50 and above; it is responsible for numerous fractures around the vertebra, hip, or wrist within this age group.
The disease occurs where the body either generates bone cells at a rate slower than they die, or absorbs too much existing bone. Slow bone generation and replacement can be attributed to low levels of calcium and Vitamin D which are key components of the bone development process. There are other probable causes of osteoporosis including overindulgence in alcohol, smoking, medication, and low body weight. However, there are cases where bone loss occurs without any medical explanation. This occurs if disease is genetic. v
Osteoporosis is hard to detect in the early stages as it does not show any obvious symptoms. Many victims discover they have the disease once they suffer fractures. This can be characterised by pain which can occur due to fractures on some bones that constitute the spine. Continuous exposure to osteoporosis can result into height reduction or stooped posture.
The examination and detection of osteoporosis can be done in two major ways: bone mineral density testing and spine or hip x-rays. Bone mineral density testing can not only diagnose the disease but also foretell the risk of fractures whereas x-rays can only show fractures. v
Treatment of osteoporosis is primarily based on enhancement of bone generation and prevention of bone loss. It can be done in numerous ways such as consumption of calcium and vitamin D, lifestyle changes, and medication. The mode of treatment depends on the level of advancement of the disease and should be done under the supervision of a medical expert.