Osteoporosis

21:55 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Osteoporosis?

It is a disease of the skeletal system characterized by a decrease in bone density as a result of the loss of normal bone tissue, which generates porous and weak bones that can fracture easily, mainly in the wrists, hips, and vertebrae. 

Osteoporosis is usually classified into:

  • Idiopathic, unknown cause.
  • Type I or postmenopausal, caused by a lack of estrogens in women.
  • Type II or senile, generated by aging.

The higher the bone density you acquire in youth, the less likely you are to suffer from osteoporosis later in life.

Symptoms

Osteoporosis is known as a silent disease because there are no symptoms until the bone loss is so severe that it causes fractures. However, upon a decrease in bone mass, you may experience:

  • Back pain, caused by a fractured vertebra.
  • Brittle bones.
  • Loss of height over time.
  • Hunched posture.

Potential risks:

Although anyone can develop osteoporosis, there are potential risks that can contribute to its onset, such as:

Genetic inheritance: parents with osteoporosis.

Old age: from 60 years of age there is a greater probability of developing osteoporosis.

Lifestyle: a sedentary lifestyle, as well as the consumption of tobacco or alcohol can help reduce bone density.

Body structure: people with small body structures have a greater predisposition to have osteoporosis.

Diet: a diet low in calcium, eating disorders, or gastrointestinal surgery can contribute to a decrease in bone mass.

Gender: women, especially in the menopausal stage, are more prone to suffer from osteoporosis.

Diagnosis and treatment

Nowadays there are various tools to have a timely diagnosis that helps prevent bone loss or treat osteoporosis, as it is a disease whose symptoms are not visible until bone decalcification is very advanced.

Your doctor will request a bone densitometry to find out if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, so as to reduce the risk of fractures and start a preventive treatment. 

Densitometry is a painless test in which a scanner passes over your body to examine the bones of the hip and spine. If your doctor deems it necessary, it will also order a bone biopsy and radiological studies to confirm the diagnosis. 

The treatment to be followed will depend on your case and the progression of the disease. As prevention, you may be recommended vitamin D supplements and the intake of drugs that help decrease bone resorption, as well as the use of estrogens and a parathyroid hormone analog, which helps stimulate bone formation.

As a general measure, it is important to have a diet low in protein and rich in calcium (dairy), getting controlled daily exercise to prevent falls, and to abstain from smoking and consuming alcohol to strengthen weak bones and thus reduce the chances of experiencing possible fractures. 

In the ABC Medical Center Internal Medicine Department, we offer you health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies, from both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • inforeuma.com
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • msdmanuals.com
  • cun.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • Loranca-Moreno P, Vázquez-Gallardo G, Brito-Gavilanes MB, et al. Efecto de la administración complementaria de vitamina D en pacientes con osteoporosis posmenopáusica sin respuesta a tratamiento con antirresortivos. Med Int Mex. 2021;37(4):529-539.
  • Cabrera-Pivaral CE, Orozco-Valerio MJ, Báez-Báez MGL, et al. Competencia clínica de médicos mexicanos de atención primaria para manejar osteoporosis. Inv Ed Med. 2018;7(27):44-51.
  • Fantin EA. Lo que debe conocer un traumatólogo sobre osteoporosis y fracturas por fragilidad ósea. Revista Cubana de Ortopedia y Traumatología. 2020;34(1):1-23.
  • Acosta CA. Fisiopatología de la osteoporosis por glucocorticoides. Hipercortisolismo endógeno. Rev Cuba Endoc. 2019;30(1):58-60.

						

Internal Medicine

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The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.