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Archive for February, 2010

Osteoporosis – Causes And Treatment

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Osteoporosis is a disease of bones which makes them weak and more prone to fractures. Anyone can suffer from osteoporosis but it is more common in older women. In osteoporosis bone mineral density is reduced and architecture of the bone is disrupted. Osteoporosis is a disease wherein there is a high risk for bone fracture due to decrease in bone density. Epidemiology shows that females are more vulnerable to osteoporosis than males.

Osteoporosis commonly happens when there is an abnormally high bone reabsorption and inability to produce sufficient new bone tissue. Normally, an old bone is reabsorbed and a new bone is produced. Production of a new bone is faster in younger age, especially in children, infants and adolescents. Bone development is slower and leads to lesser density of bone tissues at around age thirty. Later on, bone reabsorption happens when the production is excessive resulting in decrease of bone strength.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. Osteoporosis often was thought to be a condition that frail elderly women develop. Osteoporosis leads to literally abnormally porous bone that is more compressible like a sponge, than dense like a brick. This disorder of the skeleton weakens the bone leading to an increase in the risk of breaking bones (bone fracture). A broken bone can really affect a woman’s life. It can cause disability, pain, or loss of independence.

Other causes of osteoporosis are heredity and lifestyle. Whites and Asians, tall and thin women and those with a history of osteoporosis are those at the highest risk of getting osteoporosis. The behavioral causes of increasing the risk of osteoporosis are smoking, alcohol abuse, prolonged inactivity and a diet low in calcium. There are also some diseases that are associated with aging that cause osteoporosis, which include kidney failure, liver disease, cancers, Paget’s disease, endocrine or glandular diseases, gonadal failure and rheumatoid arthritis. There are some medications like steroids, seizure drugs, thyroid hormone and blood thinners that are also found to cause osteoporosis.

Individual circumstances determine which treatment approaches are most appropriate. Calcium and vitamin D The body’s ability to absorb dietary calcium diminishes with advancing age. Most adults should take calcium supplements to get 1000 to 1200 milligrams of calcium daily combined with dietary calcium. Though calcium cannot restore bone structure that is already lost to osteoporosis, the bones need abundant calcium simply to maintain bone remodeling.

If you are postmenopausal, you can find a variety of drugs that are designed to do this for you. One popular osteoporosis treatment is biophosphates, which are medications such as Actonel. It’s the only oral monthly osteoporosis treatment approved to help prevent fractures at both the spine and other areas where fractures commonly occur (other areas were measured as a group, not separately). Actonel is clinically proven to help decrease the chance of a spinal fracture in just 1 year. Talk to your doctor to find out if Actonel is the right fit for your bone health routine.