What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that deteriorates the bones and makes it brittle due to low bone mass and loss of bone tissue. As a result, it makes the person extremely susceptible to fractures. These types fractures are called as fragility fractures.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can be caused due to a variety of reasons such as:
- Low peak bone mass
- Low estrogen and testosterone levels in women and men
- Hormonal imbalance
- Thyroid disorders such as hyperthyroidism
- Kidney diseases, anorexia
- Surgical removal of ovaries
- Low calcium diet
- Lack of Vitamin D
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
In the initial phases, people inflicted with osteoporosis show no visible symptoms or signs, but over time, the following symptoms begin to surface:
Under normal circumstances, height loss is a part of growth. As a person ages, the discs in the spinal cord shink and contract, and this causes loss of height. But a person inflicted with this disease might experience height loss suddenly.
Fractures are the most dangerous aspect of this disease. It can cause debilitating, acute and chronic pain. It might be hard to link fractures to this disease as these are asymptomatic. In some cases, the fractures of the long bones acutely impair mobility and might necessitate surgery.
A broken wrist is the first symptom which suggests the presence of osteoporosis. Women are prone to wrist fractures after menopause. Usually, people shoot their arm to the front as a reflex action stop their fall. Healthy bones should be able to resist a simple fall but a fracture is an indication of osteoporosis.
When a hip fractures, the top of the thigh bone is often the site where the break happens. Furthermore, people in their late 70s or 80s are more at risk for this type of injury. It is observed more in a fall-related injury.
A broken hip can be very painful and extremely debilitating. In most cases, it necessitates an operation. Complications arising due to old age also affect recovery.
Types of Bone Tissues
Bones provide the body with structure, support, and protection for internal organs. It is composed of calcium and other minerals that provide strength and rigidity. They also consist of bone marrow where new blood cells are produced.
Every bone consists of 2 types of bone tissues.
- Cortical Bone – A thick outer cover or shell that gives bones its smooth, and solid appearance.
- Trabecular Bone – A strong mesh exists inside the shell
These types of bone tissues are usually assisted by a nerve and blood supply whereas the fat and bone marrow cover all the spaces between. There are certain bones at the end of the long bones such as the ones in the legs and arms. These have a great proportion of trabecular bone.
This condition can be thought of as a precursor to Osteoporosis. Here, the bones are not as fragile as in osteoporosis, but they are weaker than the normal bone. It is characterized by the body’s inability to make new tissues as quickly as it reabsorbs old bone tissues.
This makes the bones weaker and might eventually lead to osteoporosis. It is typically observed in people above the age of 50. It can also be inherited among family members. Women are also prone to this condition.
To learn more about osteoporosis or other related conditions, please visit BYJU’s.