Knowing the symptoms of osteoporosis can help you get treatment to curb your bone loss. As a result, you will have fewer fractures and other problems related to weak and brittle bones.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Unfortunately, osteoporosis is like high blood pressure in that both are often called silent diseases. Patients who have high blood pressure or osteoporosis don't feel sick and may not know that they are developing medical problems until those problems become serious.
As osteoporosis progresses, the disease's symptoms can become quite evident. Symptoms can include a curved or humped backbone or back pain. In addition, osteoporosis can lead to stooped posture. Some people who have osteoporosis actually shrink in height. Osteoporosis patients can also suffer bone fractures much more easily than in the past.
Diagnosis of Osteoporosis
Currently, the only ways to detect osteoporosis early are bone mineral density tests (BMD). A BMD will measure the mass or density of your bones. There are several different types of BMD tests, such as the single energy x-ray absorptiometry, which examines your heel or wrist, and the quantitative computed tomography, which is usually used to look at the density of the spine.
One of the best treatments for osteoporosis is prevention. This means taking care of your body from a young age. Most women will increase their bone mass until they reach between 25 and 30 years old. It is to important to make getting enough calcium in your diet a priority at a young age and to continue that priority as you grow older. In addition, incorporating weight lifting into your lifetime exercise plan and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption may lower your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Some of the prescription drugs that are used today may not only stop bone density loss, the drugs may actually help add mass back into your bones.
In the past, hormone replacement therapy, in the form of taking a combination of estrogen and progesterone, was the treatment of choice. However, hormone replacement therapy has been replaced with more preferred treatments. Newer treatments include medications such as alendronate and risedronate, both from the bisphosphonate family, faloxifene and parathyroid hormone.
Osteoporosis is not curable. However, you can minimize your risk of developing osteoporosis by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In addition, your physician can help you with the best treatments available to stop osteoporosis should you eventually develop the disease.
Although genes, gender and your age are responsible for developing osteoporosis, you can make a few lifestyle changes to try and decrease your risk of early development. Increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake, participating in weight-bearing exercise and packing your diet with more produce will help to improve your bone health.
Osteoporosis. Commonly referred to as the "Silent Disease," or the "Silent Thief." It strikes without symptoms until bones become so weak that a sudden fall, bump or even strain causes a break in the unity of the bone, otherwise known as a fracture.