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Osteoporosis FAQ

Following are common questions about Osteoporosis:
  1. What is osteoporosis?
  2. How do you develop osteoporosis?
  3. What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?
  4. What suggests that you are definitely at a high risk of osteoporosis?
  5. What are the diagnosis options for osteoporosis?
  6. What is pre osteoporosis?
  7. What are the treatment options of osteoporosis?
  8. What are the dietary recommendations for people suffering from osteoporosis?
  9. What should you not eat while undergoing treatment for osteoporosis?
  10. What are the types of osteoporosis?
  11. What are the symptoms of juvenile osteoporosis?
  12. Is juvenile osteoporosis treatable?
  13. How can you prevent osteoporosis?
  14. Can osteoarthrits lead to osteoporosis?
  1. What is osteoporosis?

    Osteoporosis is a kind of bone disorder causing it to become very soft and brittle. Bones usually have honeycomb like structure; however, when osteoporosis occurs, the size of holes in the honeycomb structure become larger than normal and thus loose density and become brittle.

    The body periodically generates new bones to replace the old and worn out ones. However, in osteoporosis, this does not happen. The body either fails to generate new bone or the breakdown is too rapid and abnormal.

  2. How do you develop osteoporosis?

    There are multiple factors causing osteoporosis. Few of them have been discussed below:

    • Genetics and family history: It has been seen that osteoporosis runs in family. Patients having their parents or grandparents suffering from this bone disorder, remain likely to suffer from osteoporosis. However, this is something that can be prevented. Opting for regular bone health checkups can definitely help you determine early signs and opt for treatment measures.
    • Medications: Certain medications are known to have detrimental effect on our bones. Prolonged use of steroids can weaken your bones. Cancer treatment that impacts hormonal balance in the body can again push you at a high risk of this disease.
    • Poor diet: People who have been following wrong diet plans are prone to suffer from osteoporosis at later stages of life. Particularly, a lack of calcium and vitamin D intake can disturb your bone health.
    • Sedentary lifestyle: Exercises and physical activities are vital for having strong bones. However, people who follow a sedentary lifestyle make their bones become weaker slowly.

    Besides the above mentioned factors, there are a number of other parameters, such as age, gender and body frame that can make you equally susceptible to the disease. Old generation is more prone to this disease. Women; especially those who have a thin structure, can develop the disease. Health issues such as thyroid troubles can lead to osteoporosis at later stages.

  3. What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?

    Osteoporosis does not come up with vivid symptoms. The disease is a gradual process and at early stages you don't really identify weakening of your bones. It is only after a considerable period that you may experience symptoms of bone disorder:

    • Severe back ache
    • A continuous and blunt pain around bone joints
    • Unexpected fractures that become frequent
    • Bent posture
    • Diminished height determined only on tests and not visible with naked eyes
  4. What suggests that you are definitely at a high risk of osteoporosis?

    It would be great to know the first sign of osteoporosis. However, as already mentioned, osteoporosis has no early symptoms. It is only when you test yourself, you may know that your bones are in a bad state.

    Nevertheless, below mentioned are few of the subtle signals that can reveal a deteriorating bone health, or a probable Osteoporosis:

    • Vitamin D deficiency symptoms
    • Abnormal results in serum calcium test or alkaline phosphatase test
    • Not being able to get up from a seated position without using your hands. And this does not mean that you are seated on the floor. If you experience this while sitting on a chair, opt for a bone density test immediately.
    • Your spine appears to take up a curved structure
    • Abnormal pulse rates detected in a test
    • If you are already obese, you need to take care as the extra weight can exert excess pressure on your bones
  5. What are the diagnosis options for osteoporosis?

    Osteoporosis or any bone disorder can be diagnosed through a multiple of laboratory procedures. Some of them are:

    • Bone density tests
    • Blood Marker Tests
    • Urine tests to know nutrient levels
    • Dual Energy X ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)
    • Calcium test and Vitamin D test
    • Imaging tests may also be required
  6. What is pre osteoporosis?

    Pre osteoporosis is known as osteopenia, a condition where a person has been detected with weak bones, but has not developed osteoporosis yet. A bone density test can detect osteopenia. People who are diagnosed with osteopenia gain an upper hand, as taking up measures to prevent osteoporosis is feasible.

  7. What are the treatment options of osteoporosis?

    Treatment of osteoporosis depends on how severe are your symptoms and the chances of your bone ruptures. Medication, diet and physical exercises together can help in treating the condition. However, if the associated risk is lower, medications may be skipped.

    Medications sometimes are thought to bring about related side effects. Therefore, people who opt for early diagnosis through regular screening tests, can get treated through nutritional and lifestyle change without depending on medicines. However, for people diagnosed at later stages, drugs become inevitable.

  8. What are the dietary recommendations for people suffering from osteoporosis?

    Individuals suffering from osteoporosis need to opt for a well balanced diet. A good diet acts as an effective natural treatment for osteoporosis or any other bone disorder. Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods are mandatory to be included in the diet. Below suggested is an osteoporosis diet plan that may be useful:

    • Milk and Dairy products, such as yoghurt, cheese etc.
    • A mixed bag of fruits
    • Fresh and green leafy vegetables - cabbage, fennel, broccoli etc. are some of the good options
    • Dry fruits such as figs and apricots, nuts
    • Soya bean and soya drinks may be useful. But discuss this with your doctor.
    • Fishes with bones and oil
    • Cereals
    • Water - 3 to 5 liters each day
  9. What should you not eat while undergoing treatment for osteoporosis?

    • Reduce salt intake
    • Restrict alcohol consumption. Soft drinks may also be avoided.
    • Caffeine - coffee and tea
    • Refrain from smoking
  10. What are the types of osteoporosis?

    • Osteoporosis has been divided into two broad types; primary osteoporosis and secondary osteoporosis.
    • Primary osteoporosis can be divided into - Post menopausal osteoporosis, Idiopathic Osteoporosis and Involutional osteoporosis
    • Secondary osteoporosis is a condition that relates to weakened bone due to other health disorders
    • Menopause affects the bone health adversely and therefore, females need to take good care in their pre and post menopausal stages
    • Idiopathic osteoporosis relates to bone disorder seen in children. It is also known as Juvenile osteoporosis
    • Involutional refers to bone health degradation due to aging and poor diet or lifestyle
  11. What are the symptoms of juvenile osteoporosis?

    Signs and symptoms related to osteoporosis that your child may show is no different from what you may exhibit. Visit a pediatric orthopedic surgeon if your child complains about the following:

    • Extreme fatigue and irritation
    • Constant pain around the limbs
    • Reluctant to play outdoor
    • Frequent fractures around ankles
    • Severe back pain
    • Having problems while walking
    • Not being able to follow correct postures
  12. Is juvenile osteoporosis treatable?

    There is no direct treatment for idiopathic/juvenile osteoporosis. If your child has reached this stage due to some other diseased condition, treating that disease can be a remedy. You will have to talk to your GP to know what you could do to minimize adversities and help your child lead a normal life. A good diet can definitely work miracles.

  13. How can you prevent osteoporosis?

    Preventing osteoporosis requires a life time of commitment. As already mentioned, osteoporosis does not come up with vivid symptoms at early stages. So, even when you are already having weakened bone, you may not know it. Therefore, taking care of your bone health right from the beginning is what can guarantee osteoporosis prevention.

    Healthy eating habits - A good diet always provides necessary nutrients to your body that never lets your bones take a weak shape. It is important to know healthy levels of calcium and vitamin D required for your body depending on age group.

    Regular exercises - Every individual needs to opt for some kind of physical activities to keep bones in a healthy state. A bit of jogging, yoga, sports etc. should be a part of our regular day to day life.

    Being vigilant about your health status - Osteoporosis may develop as a result of some other health issues as well. Therefore, make efforts for knowing how the vital organs of your body are doing. Patients suffering from pancreatic troubles, thyroid disorders or have been detected with tumors in the past, need to opt for blood sugar testing, Thyroid testing and tumor or cancer screenings regularly can help to prevent these diseases from affecting your bone health.

    Females need to opt for periodic health checkups - As women remain at a greater risk of this disease, bone density tests are performed as one of the mandatory tests in any of the screening packages offered by diagnostic centers. Opting for those can help guarantee osteoporosis prevention.

    Teaching children about correct postures - Following a right posture is essential to not stress your bones unduly. Therefore, right from a tender age, you can take steps at teaching the right postures to your children, that can guarantee strong bones in future.

  14. Can osteoarthrits lead to osteoporosis?

    Osteoarthritis is a condition affecting bone joints. On the other hand, osteoporosis makes bones fragile. Although, both come with similar symptoms, they are in true sense two different medical conditions and varied causatives. Now, both these conditions do not work as causative factors for each other. However, your doctor will be at the best position to explain consequences. You can learn more about arthritis here.