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=== What is Osteoporosis? ===

Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones of the body become brittle and fragile due to low bone mass. This can be caused from loss or deterioration of tissue and often this can be found in hips, spine, wrist and shoulders. Typically, Osteoporosis is a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D. Osteoporosis is characterized by deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture (broken bones). Osteoporosis is often known as “the silent thief” because bone loss occurs without symptoms.

How does Osteoporosis Affect the Skeletal System? Edit

Osteoporosis is a silent disease that affects all bones in the skeletal system, but it often leads to broken bones in the hip, wrist, spine, and pelvis. The disease is common in women past menopause, and in men over 70 years of age. It can also affect breast-fed babies and children who spend too much of their time indoors. Until a fracture occurs, osteoporosis often remains hidden and undetected by the physician and patient because it occurs slowly over many years.

Signs and Symptoms Edit

The signs and symptoms for Osteoporosis are:

• Back or neck pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra.

Osteoporosis

• Loss of height over time.

• A stooped posture.

• A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected

Diagnosis Edit

Osteoporosis is often diagnosed after weakened bones have led to a fracture. If you are at risk of developing osteoporosis, your general practitioner may refer you for a bone mineral density scan (BMD), known as a dual energy X-ray Absorptiometry scan. Normal X-rays are a helpful way in identifying fractures, but they aren't a reliable method of measuring bone density. A BMD is the most common bone density test in use today. This test involves lying on a table for several minutes while a small x-ray detector scans your spine, one hip, or both. You may be asked to lift your legs onto a support to straighten your back for the test. The test is safe and painless and does not require any injections or any other discomfort. You receive a very small amount of radiation from a DXA test, approximately the same amount you are exposed to if you fly from Toronto to Vancouver.

Treatment Edit

There is no cure for osteoporosis. The goal of treatment is to protect and strengthen the bones. Treatment usually includes a combination of drugs and lifestyle changes to help slow the rate of bone restoration by the body. Weight-bearing exercise is often an option for osteoporosis patients, and it might even help your bones. You can also exercise to treat osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking makes you work against gravity while staying up right which helps with osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or Vitamin D. There are no symptoms for this condition at an early stage, but after the bones have already become weak, some symptoms may include: back pain, loss of height over time, a stooped posture, and a bone fracture that occurs more easily than expected. Osteoporosis affects both men and women of all races, but the most susceptible individuals are: those who are from white or Asian descent, women, the elderly, smaller body frames, and people whose relatives have suffered from osteoporosis. Some preventions for osteoporosis are medications, a healthy diet, and partaking in weight-bearing exercise.

Risk Factors Edit

A risk factor assessment is an important first step in alerting you to your risk for osteoporosis. However, it is not a scientific way to predict whether your bones will become porous. Many people who develop osteoporosis have few of the risk factors — a fact we are trying to understand through research into the causes of osteoporosis.

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