Right from cracking your knuckles to waving at someone, from chewing food to lifting things, and all the basic things that you do involuntarily, your bones are always with you. Aren’t they? In every action that the human body does, the bones act as the support. So, when this support goes weak there’s a possibility of something being wrong with your bones. One such possibility is osteoporosis. A common degenerative disorder which makes the bones fragile and brittle.
Osteoporosis: How Does It Begin?
If you look into the literary meaning, the word osteoporosis refers to bones with holes. It strikes in when there is a severe deterioration or loss in the minerals that are responsible for the formation of the bones.
Let’s take a look at what these minerals are.Bones are made of a protein called collagen which contains calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate which give the bones strength and flexibility to be able to give the human body a defined structure and the ability to flex and move.
Apart from the combination of calcium and collagen that builds bones, there are a few other elements in the body that contribute to the strength and functioning of the bones. Basic activities that you perform as a routine can be greatly affected when there’s an imbalance in these elements.
What are they?
Hormones like testosterone and oestrogen play a significant role in providing strength to the bones. When there is a drop in the levels of oestrogen, it results in the bones becoming weak, and can also cause rampant bone loss. This is mostly seen occurring with growing age, and women are more prone to it as menopause is a huge contributor in reduction of oestrogen.
How Does Osteoporosis Affect Your Daily Life?
Even the smallest of the action becomes a problem. You want to catch a bus and you’re a little away from it, you’d probably struggle to run and reach the bus. Look at another situation: You’re cooking and you find it difficult to hold the spatula. Walking and other random movements that normal people do become extremely painful. The restricted function of your bones makes it difficult to do the simplest of the activities which over time can make you feel miserable and more in pain.
Here are a few symptoms that you might notice when you develop osteoporosis.
- Restricted mobility with throbbing joint pains.
- You might be prone to fracturing your wrist, spine and hips, which is the most important and common symptom of developing osteoporosis.
- Difficulty in chewing – Your dental x-rays might show up with weak or fractured bones in your jaws.
Are You At Risk?
Check your vitals if you are experiencing similar symptoms with aggravated joint pains and weakness. There are many factors that could lead to osteoporosis, and you might not realise until your condition starts to worsen.
- Calcium and vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common contributing factors for osteoporosis. You must consult your doctor to fix your vitamin D levels. Foods rich in these minerals can help you keep the risk of developing osteoporosis at bay.
- Are you overweight? If yes, then you need to get on your toes. Being overweight can put a lot of pressure on your joints, which can result in a gradual bone loss. Including a certain amount of weight bearing exercises will help you strengthen your bones and muscles that surround your bones.
- Do you smoke? The effect of tobacco on the human body has always been a negative one. In case of bone health, there are several researches that state that the use tobacco directly can cause bone loss to some extent. However the impact of smoking on bone health is still not completely proven. But then, it is noticed that women who smoke have menopause much earlier than those who don’t, and early menopause can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
- Are you a coffee or a tea addict? Caffeine is also said to be one of the factors that trigger osteoporosis. So, if you are extremely fond of these beverages, you might have to possibly limit your consumption.
So, You Have It. What Do You Do?
If you relate to all of the above, there could be chances that you might develop osteoporosis. Getting yourself screened for osteoporosis can help you figure out if you have it, or if is something else that’s causing you the pain and discomfort. The most common tests that can determine if you have osteoporosis or not are:
- A bone mineral density test – This test involves X-rays that determine the calcium levels, in your bones, and detects porous bones and fractures.
- A bone health measurement (DEXA Scan) – A DEXA Scan (Dual X-ray Absorptiometry) is a measures how strong your bones are. The main focus areas of this test are your hips and your spine.
Genetics and Osteoporosis
A genetic disposition plays a crucial role in the development of osteoporosis in a person. So, preventive measures must be taken into consideration at an early age to avoid osteoporosis being diagnosed at a later stage. If osteoporosis runs in your family, you are at a much higher risk of having it. So, nutritious food, regular and well guided exercise and weight training, and certain lifestyle habits can make life easier and free from your bones being brittle. Your doctor will be able to guide you the right way.
Physical therapy to a large extent can help you get relief from pain. It can also help in activating, and strengthening the bones and muscles to work more efficiently. You will have to be on certain specific medications if required. If you are looking for treatments or are looking for more on how to diagnose your condition, we’re right here to get you sorted. So, hurry up and call us now!
ABOUT THE CLINIC
Dr. Chakri’s Clinic is the best orthopaedic clinic in Hyderabad, India. Dr. Reddy is an expert Orthopedic Surgeon in Hyderabad. He has treated thousands of patients through medicines and surgeries. The clinic is equipped with the most advanced orthopaedic tools and machineries.