Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is diminished bone quantity in normal bone (osteomalacia is normal bone quantity in demineralized bone). Osteoporosis can be designated into primary and secondary. Primary osteoporosis is most commonly seen in postmenopausal females and elderly patients. Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million U.S. women and men aged 50 and older. Only a fraction of affected people are receiving treatment.

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Signs and symptoms can include:

  • Back pain
  • Gradual loss of height
  • Stooped posture
  • Easily broken bone

It might be time to speak with your doctor about osteoporosis if you went through early menopause, took corticosteroids for several months at a time, or if either of your parents had hip fractures.

Women are much more likely than men to develop osteoporosis. Both men and women who are smaller are at a higher risk since they have less bone mass to draw on as they age. As you age you’ll be at higher risk as well as having a parent or sibling who’s had osteoporosis. Hormone levels and thyroid problems can contribute. Certain medical conditions such as Celiac disease, cancer, lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis can be factors as well.

Bisphosphonates are the most commonly used medication for the treatment of osteoporosis. Estrogen is typically started in women following menopause. Estrogen can help maintain bone density, however, there are many risk factors, including blood clots, endometrial/ breast cancer, and cardiovascular concerns. Because of concerns about its safety and because other treatments are available, hormone therapy is generally not a first-choice treatment. Physical therapy and exercise can assist in building bone strength and muscle strengthening.

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