Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a physical laborer or a senior citizen, everyone faces some sort of health issue at some point in their life. Millions of people worldwide suffer from different injuries, diseases, and conditions, both mental and physical. The sad part is, sometimes you overlook certain signs and symptoms, and don’t acknowledge your body’s hints that something is wrong. This results in you facing more health problems. That is why it is important to know when to consult a proper professional regarding any problems you may be having so as to avoid any future risks. One of the conditions that are completely overlooked in such instances is Osteoporosis.
Why Osteoporosis is such a huge issue
According to a research study published by Springer, osteoporosis-associated fractures resulted in about 57,413 short-term care admissions as well as 832,594 hospitalizations back in 2007 and 2008. The care costs came up to $1.2 billion. The International Osteoporosis Foundation also states that osteoporosis results in around 1.4 million Canadians being affected, specifically postmenopausal females and senior citizens. It also affects 1 out of 4 women and greater than 1 out of 8 men above 50 years of age, showing an increased incidence with age.
A common misconception that people have regarding Osteoporosis is that it is a natural condition that affects anyone as they age, which is why people choose to minimize the severity of their symptoms. You should make sure to get yourself checked at Pillars of Wellness to ensure you’re not developing any bone problems associated with Osteoporosis.
What exactly is Osteoporosis?
According to MedicineNet, Osteoporosis is a medical problem that causes reduced bone density, which makes bones weaker and more fragile. The condition results in pores forming in the bones, which in turn become compressible and spongy. People affected by the condition can face frequent fractures in their bones even with the slightest injury. The fractures may be in the form of cracking like in hip fractures or collapsing like vertebrae compression fractures. Common bone areas that are affected by the condition include the spine, hips, ribs, and wrists are common. That said, osteoporosis-associated fractures can happen in almost any bone in the body.
What are the causes?
Women, in general, are more affected than men. Caucasians and Asians are also more prone to the condition. Other health risks include:
- Petite body frames• Family history
- History of fracture as an adult
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive alcohol intake or alcoholism
- Lack of physical activity
- Low calcium and vitamin D diet
- Poor nutrition and health
- Low estrogen levels in women
- Low testosterone levels in men
- Long-term use of certain medications like heparin, anti-seizure medicine like phenytoin or phenobarbital and oral corticosteroids
Some other medical conditions that also predispose people to Osteoporosis include:
- Grave’s disease
- Osteogenesis imperfecta
- Osteoporosis-pseudoglioma syndrome
- Marfan syndrome
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
What are the signs and symptoms?
You can’t typically see any symptoms in the early phase of bone loss. That said, if your bones are weakened by osteoporosis, you could face signs and symptoms like:
- Back pain
- Fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Gradual loss of height
- Postural stooping
- A bone fracture due to minor injuries or traumas
You should make an appointment with Pillars of Wellness if you are going through early menopause, have been using corticosteroids for several months, or have parents with a history of hip fractures.
How do you diagnose it?
A doctor can ask for a simple X-ray to show osteoporosis of the bones since they appear much thinner and lighter than regular bones. However, by the time these imaging tests can find the osteoporosis, about 30% of the bone is lost. Also, X-rays are not the best indicators of bone density, because of which the bone images are often affected by different degrees of exposure of the films.
Most doctors recommend a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan (DXA) to diagnose osteoporosis. The teat essentially measures bone density in the hips, spine, and forearm. DXAs takes about 15 minutes to carry out, uses one-tenth to one-hundredth of the amount of radiation of a regular chest X-ray to reduce patient exposure, and is accurate.
How do you treat it?
For people suffering from osteoporosis, treatment options are not limited and can range from exercise, lifestyle changes, diets, medications and alternative therapies. The main goal of treatment is to avoid and slow down the bone loss, as well as reduce any risks for fractures or bone damage.
With regards to medications, some patients respond better to certain drugs than other ones, whereas some can face side effects that other people wouldn’t normally have to deal with while using the same medicines. It is important to consult the right professionals at Pillars of Wellness to better assess the advantages and risks of different treatments, and see which one is best for you.
- Typical drug treatments include
- Parathyroid Hormone
- Hormone Therapy
- SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)
Focusing on diets rich in calcium and vitamin D and adding moderate physical activities and exercises into your daily regimen can help keep bones strong to avoid the risk of any weakness, fractures or other damages.
Osteoporosis and physical therapy – how to keep moving forward
Gerry Corcoran, 54, was diagnosed with Osteoporosis. His doctor recommended a bone mineral density test since his mother suffered from the condition, and so they were able to catch the osteoporosis. Gerry was put on different medications, made to do mile-long walks to his office, performed moderate exercises and changed his diet to include more calcium and vitamins for the next few years.
After rigorous lifestyle changes and many medications, Gerry had improved his bone density and was finally rid of the osteoporosis. To this day, he still stands by his physical therapy and routines suggested by his doctor, which let him live his life even with his osteoporosis.
With Pillars of Wellness, you can get alternative treatments like yoga, physiotherapy, physical therapy, holistic nutrition, alternative medicine, homeopathy, meditation, and naturopathy to help you with your bone problems. Make an appointment now and stay healthy!