1. What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition affecting the bones that makes them weak and fragile. The disease is generally diagnosed when one of the bones breaks due to minor or no external injury. This condition develops over the years and is commonly seen in elderly women.
2. What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis does not produce any symptoms in the initial stages. However, once the bones are weak and fragile, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Loss of height and a stooped body posture
- Back pain due to fracture in the vertebra
- Breaking of the bones with even slight external impact
3. What factors may lead to osteoporosis?
The bones are being formed and broken down in the body throughout life. However, uptil the age of 20-30 years, the rate of formation is higher than the breakdown, and a peak bone mass is achieved. After this, the rate of breakdown is more. Therefore, a lower peak bone mass is the primary factor associated with osteoporosis.
4. What techniques are involved in the diagnosis of osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is generally diagnosed using DEXA scan. The scan assesses the density of the various bones of the body. The bone density of the hip and spine are commonly used for the diagnosis of osteoporosis.
5. What are the therapies for osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis therapy includes several medicines such as hormone therapy, bone-building medicines and some others like monoclonal antibodies. In hormonal therapy, oestrogen is given to women just after menopause to maintain a healthy bone density. Other medicines used reduce the breakdown rate of bones and help maintain their strength.