Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by brittle bones that fracture or break easily. It is often referred to as a “Silent Disease” because it usually develops insidiously over the years without causing any symptoms. Osteoporosis becomes more common as we age.
A fracture is often the first sign and it can occur even before the diagnosis of osteoporosis is made. Here are some of the early signs of osteoporosis.
These fragility related fractures tend to occur on the wrists, hips or the vertebral bones of the back. They usually develop as a result of trauma that would not break a bone in a person with normal bones. This can be from falling after missing a curb or from lifting a heavy bag.
Persistent back pain is another sign of osteoporosis. It often develops after one or more vertebrae are fractured. In persons with osteoporosis this can occur without a fall or after minor trauma like bending over. A sneeze or a bout of coughing can even break the back bones in a person with severe osteoporosis. This back pain, which can be experienced when the person is standing still, is aggravated by day to day activities like walking and laughing.
Bent Forward Posture
As the broken back bones continue loosing calcium, the weight of the body makes them crumble. This causes a stooping or bent forward posture known as kyphosis. This sign of osteoporosis is also referred to as a Widow’s Hump. The crumbling effect of the osteoporotic spine also causes a loss in height of even as much as 6 inches.
Receding gums is another sign that is associated with osteoporosis. Though they can be caused by numerous conditions, receding gums tend to develop in patients with osteoporosis because of the loss of bone from the jaw. Studies have even shown that jaw bone loss is associated with low bone mineral density.
Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer