At lushington chiropractic I have recently I have been asked quite a few questions about the condition osteoporosis and what affects it can have on the body. This blog will go through the common symptons and causes of Osteoporosis.
Introduction into Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a minor fall or sudden impact causes a bone fracture.
Osteoporosis affects over 3 million people in the UK.
More than 500,000 people receive hospital treatment for fragility fractures (fractures that occur from standing height or less) every year as a result of osteoporosis.
- Women also lose bone rapidly in the first few years after menopause
- Long-term use of corticosteroids
- Other medical conditions – such as inflammatory conditions, hormone-related conditions, or malabsorption problems
- A family history of osteoporosis – particularly history of a hip fracture in a parent
- Long-term use of certain medications which can affect bone strength or hormone levels
- Having a low BMI
- Heavy drinking
- Disorders of the pituatory gland
- Disorders of the adrenal glands
The risk factors of osteoporosis are listed below, some may surprise you
- Age – your bone density peaks at around 30
- Gender- Women of 50s are more at risk
- Family history- If parents or grandparents show signs of osteoporosis
- Ethnicity- Caucasian and Asian women are more at risk
- Bone structure and body weight- Petite and thin women have a greater chance of developing osteoporosis. One reason is that they have less bone to lose than women with more body weight and larger frames.
To diagnose osteoporosis your doctor will review the following mechanisms.
A DEXA scan is used to measure bone mineral density. Bone mineral density can be compared to the bone mineral density of a average healthy young adult and someone who’s the same age and sex as you. The difference is and is called a T score. Resultsof a Dexa scan are as follows:
You can be diagnosed with osteopenia if bone density tests show you have decreased bone density, but not enough to be classed as osteoporotic.
If you think you maybe osteoporotic, please consult your GP and they should be able to advise on a course of treatment. I have made a list of he common treatments below.
Treatment for osteoporosis is based on treating and preventing the risk fractures listed above and using medication to strengthen your bones. The medications used are listed below
Bisphosphonates slow the rate that bone is broken down in your body. This maintains bone density and reduces the risk of fracture. There are a number of different bisphosphonates. They’re prescribed as a tablet or injection.
Selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). SERMs are medications that have a similar effect on bone as the hormone oestrogen. They help to maintain bone density and reduce the risk of fracture, particularly of the spine. (side effects include potential blood clots).
Parathyroid hormone (teriparatide). Parathyroid hormone is produced naturally in the body. It regulates the amount of calcium in bone. They are used to stimulate cells that create new bone.
Calcium and vitamin D supplements
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Can help women who are going through menopause and help maintain bone density.
About the Author
If you would like to find out more about me and how I can help you then look at our ‘Meet the Team’ page on our website
Thank you for reading
James Revell DC, LCC, MSc(Chiro), BSc(Chiro), BSc(Biol)
Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne is based in Eastbourne Town Centre, very close to the railway station and the bus stops. We are an award-winning clinic providing care to over 8,000 local people.
NHS, 2019. Osteoporosis [online]. nhs.uk. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteoporosis/ [Accessed 20 Jul 2019].
NHS, 2019. Treatment [online]. nhs.uk. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteoporosis/treatment/ [Accessed 20 Jul 2019].
WebMD, 2019. Osteoporosis: Are You at Risk? [online]. WebMD. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/guide/osteoporosis-risk-factors [Accessed 20 Jul 2019].
By James Revell
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