Osteoporosis is “a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D” (1). Osteoporosis is more commonly known as a disease of the bones. As a result of osteoporosis, “your bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions like sneezing or bumping into furniture.” (2)
Osteoporosis is not a disease to be taken lightly. As osteoporosis is a condition in which your bones become brittle and fragile, osteoporosis can cause severe pain, affect your posture, and can limit your mobility. Most common areas of osteoporosis in the body are hip, spine and wrist, but other bones can break easily as well.
Osteoporosis is also difficult to detect as it is better known as a silent disease since bone loss occurs without symptoms. “Osteoporosis develops very slowly over a period of many years. The condition may creep up on the patient without any obvious symptoms initially – it can take several months, and even several years to become noticeable” (3). “People may not know that they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes a hip to fracture or a vertebra to collapse” (4). Early signs of osteoporosis include difficulty standing, sitting up straight and joint pains.
How can osteoporosis be prevented? Some factors of osteoporosis you cannot change such as your age, gender, body size, ethnicity, and family history, however, there are steps that you can take to keep your bones healthy:
- Eat a healthy diet with enough nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D
- Do not drink in excess or smoke
Osteoporosis might be the most common bone disease known by most people; however, there are a variety of other bone related diseases. Two other bone diseases which are commonly known are called Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Paget’s Disease of Bone.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta is “a genetic bone disorder characterized by fragile bones that break easily” (7). This disease is more commonly known as “brittle bone disease.” Osteogenesis Imperfecta is caused by a mutation on a gene which in turn, affects the body’s production of collagen in bones and tissues. Although there is no cure for Osteogenesis Imperfecta, symptoms can be managed with a healthy lifestyle, medication, or surgery.
The second bone related disease is Paget’s Disease of Bone which “causes bones to grow larger and weaker than normal.” (5). Paget’s Disease of Bone may cause pain and lead to medical problems. The disease is treated with medicines that slow the breakdown of bone tissue and quite possibly surgery if the disease progresses.
1. “Osteoporosis” http://www.dictionary.com
2. “What is Osteoporosis?” http://www.nof.org/articles/7
3. “What is Osteoporosis? What Causes Osteoporosis?” http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/155646.php
4. “Osteoporosis Overview” http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/overview.asp
5. “Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases” http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/default.asp
6. “What Is Osteoporosis?
Fast Facts: An Easy-to-Read Series of Publications for the Public” http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/osteoporosis_ff.asp
7. “Facts about Osteogenesis Imperfecta” http://www.oif.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AOI_Facts