Has anyone you know or you yourself got a fracture just on a minor fall or accident? Is your back always paining? These can be the symptoms to a disease called Osteoporosis. This disease has no symptoms but the low-impact fracture like getting your bone fractured just on a normal fall is something you need to focus on. The reason behind this is bones do not get fractured if you have just had a normal fall. These low-impact fractures are most likely to occur in the spine, wrist or hip.
The other things that can be seen are the back problems. The reason can be that the vertebrae might have become weak and might have lost the height. These are called vertebral crush fractures and mostly happen around lower or mid back. These ones do not require any injury for showing up. So, you will have to pay attention to these ones. If more than one vertebrae are affected, then the spine starts to curve and that can create many problems. Some of the vertebral crush fractures can also lead to the breathing problems and the reason behind it is that under the ribs, there is less space present. Plus, you also have a higher risk of fracturing the wrists or hips if you suffer from vertebral crush fracture. Pay close attention and rush to a doctor before hurting yourself badly.
After reading the symptoms and what they can actually lead to, you must want to know what the disease is and what does the changes it go through for such symptoms and problems. So, let me tell you the basic meaning of the term Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis means the bone that is porous. How does it become porous then?
See, the bone is actually made up of calcium salts mainly which are bounded together with the strong collagen fibres. The outer hard thick shell which can be seen on x-rays is known as cortical or compact bone. Within this harder bone part lies the softer and spongy bone mesh having a honeycomb like structure and is known as trabecular bone. Bone keeps on renewing itself constantly as it is an active, living tissue. The older bone tissues are broken down by cells known as Osteoclasts and are replaced by the newly produced bone material by the cells known as Osteoblasts. The balance between breaking down of bones and production of new bone material changes with the different stages of our lives.
- Bone density is at its peak by the mid- to late- 20s as the formation of new bone is very quick and the bones grown are stronger and bigger in the childhood and the adolescence.
- The adult skeleton is totally renewed within 7-10 years as the production of new bone and the breaking down of older bone is at the same rate.
- And finally, from the age of 40, the bones start to break down quicker than they can be replaced. This makes the bones to lose their density slowly with the increasing age.
As the age keeps on growing, the bones start to lose the weight. But this does not mean that the person has Osteoporosis. When the bones f a person becomes fragile enough, then the situation is Osteoporosis. In the disease, the holes present in the honeycomb-like structure of the inner bone become larger and the density of the bone gets low. This is the reason that bones get fractured easily in this disease.
There are some risk factors that can develop this disease. These factors include the intake of steroids, lack of oestrogen in the body and lack of the weight-bearing exercises. With these, the other factors are the poor diet in which there is not enough calcium or vitamin D, heavy drinking or smoking, family history and some other factors.
If you or anyone near you feel like having some symptoms, do not take this casually and go to a doctor for a proper checkup so that the disease can be diagnosed early.