With advancing age, the bones start becoming thin and this is called as Osteoporosis. It means that the bones become “Porous”. These Porous bones become very weak, quite fragile, so much so that even a small impact is sufficient to cause them a fracture. This condition is more common in females. An average healthy women acquires approx. 98% of her skeletal mass by the age of 20 yrs. After that with every passing year, this process of acquisition of skeletal mass slows down. By the age of 35-40yrs, individual begins to lose bone mass, which remains reasonably stable until age of 50 and declines progressively after that. If this loss in bone mass is severe, it may lead to osteoporosis.
In Indian society, osteoporosis is very common. After age of 65-70yrs men begin to lose bone mass rapidly, which women begin to lose once they reach menopause, between 40-45yrs when oestrogen level falls. Women are nearly four times more likely to suffer an osteoporosis related fracture. 25-30% of all women are prone to fracture because of osteoporosis and 50% of women after 75 have osteoporosis.
The biggest problem with osteoporosis is its difficulty to detect it at an early stage. Most people don’t even realize that they have it. The disease slowly and silently steals bone mass in form of calcium, most of the times producing no pain or any other symptoms and signs until they first fracture the bone. Fractures of the spine, wrist or hip in aged people could be seen in osteoporosis. Even though the disease is a silent thief. Following features should always be kept in mind and if present one must consult the physician.
Some factors may trigger osteoporosis, and they should always be given due consideration. They are risk factors for the disease and include, family history, low calcium diet, lack of physical exercise, being under weight, alcohol consumption, smoking, certain medicines such as corticosteroids, diuretics and medicines for blood pressure, early menopause and women whose ovaries are surgically removed.
There is no certain cure for osteoporosis. The bone mass can be maintained and even increased to some extent and it depends upon the bone mass you have already lost.
For osteoporosis, prevention is the best.
Simple measures can prevent very serious consequences of osteoporosis.
M.S. Shalya Tantra
R.G.G.P.G.Ayu. College Paprola,