Osteoporosis is derived from the Greek, osteo = bone and porosis = full of holes. Osteoporosis is a disease of bone loss increases the risk of fractures in old age.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

Diagnosis of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is diagnosed by measuring bone density (Bone Mineral Density). Results of measurement known as the T-score, which is the standard amount of variation above or below the average BMD male / female healthy age of 30 years.

World Health Organization (WHO) classification of BMD as follows:

WHO Definition of Osteoporosis

WHO Definition of Osteoporosis – Based on T-Score

What causes osteoporosis?

As we grow older, our bones become thinner because after the age of 30 years the level of creation of new bone cells is lower than the rate of loss / damage to bone cells. When that happens, the bones lose minerals, mass and structure making it weak and brittle.

In addition to aging, low BMD may also be caused if gastrointestinal disorders (gastrectomy, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas disorders, etc.), congenital disorders (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan syndrome, and homokistinuria), eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa) , and others.

A comprehensive medical evaluation, including medical history and physical examination, may indicate whether there is a secondary cause which results in osteoporosis.

Who is at risk of Osteoporosis?

Both women and men are equally vulnerable to osteoporosis if they fail to get the maximum bone density at age 30. Peak BMD (BMD at age 30 years) were found to have the greatest influence on the development of osteoporosis. The increase in peak BMD by 10%, for example, osteoporosis may suspend up to 13 years.

Women are more at risk than men. This is because women have a lower peak BMD and because the speed of bone loss increases after menopause due to hormonal changes.

Prevention and Treatment for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can be prevented and inhibited by the consumption of foods that yield high calcium and vitamin D, exercise, body weight-bearing (walking, running, push-ups) or other loads (lifting weights, etc) and a healthy lifestyle (stop smoking, alcoholic beverages and caffeinated). Smoking and caffeine increases the secretion of calcium in the urine thus accelerate bone loss. Alcohol can interfere with the function of the liver / kidney in the metabolism of calcium.

Medications like Foxamex, Actonel may inhibit osteoporosis, but should be taken with a doctor’s prescription. The doctor will give after considering the level of health and your risk of future fractures.

By Dr Kevin Yip, Senior Orthopaedic Consultant

 

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