Osteoporosis - Porous Bones|health women for better life

 Osteoporosis - Porous Bones

health women
 Osteoporosis - Porous Bones

Get a rundown of things to consider and more information on our Hwfbl-health women for a better life now.

In its literal sense, Osteoporosis means porous bones. This means that the normal structure of the bone – the hard thick outer shell protecting the honeycomb tiny mesh inside – is weakened and more likely to be damaged. One in Two women and One in Five men over the age of 50 in the UK will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

Two types of cells are constantly working in our bones – one type of cell is responsible for building new bones and the other type of cell is responsible for breaking down the old bones. These cells fluctuate in activeness – in childhood and up to the early 20s, the cells building new bones are very active and can replace a whole skeleton in around 2 years. From around 40 years old, the new bone cells slow down (the replacement skeleton would take in comparison around 10 years) and the cells that break down the bones start to increase their activity. That is why as you age generally, your bones get weaker. In people with osteoporosis, this shift in cell balance can happen earlier or at a much quicker rate than normal, meaning the person’s bones are weak and fragile.

Osteoporosis, in children and young people, is not a result of another serious medical condition such as cerebral palsy, which is very rare and called Idiopathic Juvenile Osteoporosis. It affects around 100 children in the UK and in half of these will completely disappear at puberty.

Osteoporosis can sometimes, although again rarely, be an issue for pregnant women. This has only been evidenced since the 1950s and is thought to be due to the change in hormones and required vitamin levels being pregnant produces.

Exactly why some people develop osteoporosis whilst others don’t is unclear and the subject of a large research body. It is known to have strong genetic links (particularly in cases where a mother has the condition), but there are other known risk factors such as the diminished ability to absorb vitamins and minerals (mainly through medical issues or eating disorders), early menopause in women or low testosterone in men, previous bone injury, immobility, and excess alcohol or nicotine consumption.

Because we cannot see or feel the texture of our bones normally, the condition is usually not detected until a bone is broken. If osteoporosis is suspected, a bone density scan called a Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) is to measure the thickness and strength of a person’s bones. For people who fall into high-risk categories, this can be done as an investigative measure without an incident has occurred. The results of this scan, taking into consideration the patient’s age and lifestyle, can inform future care.

Once diagnosed with osteoporosis, there is no cure. There are several different licensed drugs available however that seek to reduce the likelihood of further bone breaks, including hormone replacement therapy for men and women. Vitamin D and Calcium supplements are commonly prescribed alongside other drugs. Many patients also turn to homeopathic and alternative medicines for alternatives and pain management.

Living with osteoporosis can be hard. Lifestyle changes can however reduce the likelihood of bone damage – getting exercise to ensure bones get as strong as they can and you remain supple, eating a healthy diet, and cutting out drinking and smoking. As a person gets older, living accommodations may also need to be adapted to reduce the risks of falls and knocks that can easily break bones.

Thankfully, more is being learned about osteoporosis every year in research and there are a wealth of support groups, help lines, and information centers available to support patients and their families.

Get a rundown of things to consider and more information on our Hwfbl-health women for a better life now.