By Dr. Parveez Siddiqui, Internal Medicine
Your bone is a living tissue that constantly undergoes the cycle of breakage and replacement. Osteoporosis is a condition wherein the rate at which new bones form cannot match up to the worn out bones, thus making the bones fragile and brittle. Osteoporosis mainly affects the wrist, hip or spine and can result in a stooped posture accompanied by height shrinkage and back pain caused due to a collapsed vertebra.
Reasons Behind Osteoporosis -
- Hormones: Lowered estrogen count in women and testosterone in men as a result of ageing or other treatments can result in this condition. Excess thyroid secretion in the body, an overactive adrenalin gland or parathyroid gland can also accelerate bone loss. Women are more vulnerable to osteoporosis during menopause.
- Prolonged use of injected: Prolonged use of injected or oral corticosteroid medications such as cortisone or prednisone messes with the bone-building process. Medicines used to combat cancer, gastric reflux and seizures can be responsible as well.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, liver or kidney disease increases the risks of acquiring osteoporosis.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle with not much physical activity along with excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco makes you susceptible to osteoporosis.
Treatments for Osteoporosis -
- Medication: Commonly prescribed medicines for remedying fractures include bisphosphonates such as Zoledronic acid, Ibandronate, Risedronate and Alendronate. However, these medicines are not free of side-effects such as abdominal pain, nausea or heartburn. In case, your regular medicine doesn’t work, you can use Denosumab and Teriparatide as alternatives but only after consulting your physician.
- Hormone Therapy: Estrogen therapy for women after menopause helps sustain bone density. However such procedures can escalate the dangers of getting afflicted with cancer, heart diseases or conditions such as blood clotting.
- Alternative Medicine: Ipriflavone, a laboratory-manufactured product, when combined with calcium can curb chances of bone loss and alleviate pain.