Osteoporosis is one of the major rheumatology diseases that affects close to three million people in the United States alone. Close to 1 in every 3 women all over the world over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic breakage and fractures. In the case of men- one in five over the age of 50 will experience the same issues. The impact of osteoporosis is devastating, to say the least but surprisingly it is preventable and treatable to a great extent if action is taken quickly enough…
What Is Osteoporosis?
It is the effect of the bone becoming fragile and weak over time. the process is painless, to the point where the bone basically breaks-then there’s a world of pain thereafter.
The bone is composed of a thick outer shell, which surrounds a strong net-like mesh of calcium salts, proteins like collagen and other essential minerals. When the mesh loses density and weakens, it breaks eventually.
In the human body, the skeletal system is not fixed and undergoes continuous change and renewal.-right from youth to old age. The rate at which the bone renews and new bone is formed slows down as we age. In the case of young people, the bone structure renews often, and which is why when they have fractures or breakages in the bone, it heals within a month or two. The bone mass and density are more in young adults.
The bone mass and density reach an optimum level in the early ’30s. from this point on, the renewal process is slower, and bones break down faster than it is made. This is why you must have a high or peak bone density by the time you reach that critical age- think of it like a bank that you are paying yearly, and then once you hit your 30’s you begin to withdraw from it.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
Rheumatology has ascertained that the result of bone breakage is because of low peak bone density and mass. Here are some of the causes for it:
- Drinking excessively
- Lack of Vitamin D
- Low levels of calcium
- Sedentary lifestyle- not exercising and not being active
- Chronic inflammatory ailments like arthritis
- Medication especially steroidal, that lasts for several years
If you have a family history of osteoporosis, then that means you must take care early on itself. Stock up on calcium and Vitamin-D, and get good exercise. You should cut out smoking and drinking as well. Be careful of falls and try to keep yourself out of high-fall risk environments. Consult your doctor and they will better advise you on the next steps.