Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones that leads to an increased risk of fracture or breakage. In those who have osteoporosis the bone mineral density is reduced, bone microarchitecture deteriorates, and there are less proteins found in the bones. The most common form of osteoporosis is found in women after menopause is referred to as primary type 1 or postmenopausal osteoporosis. Primary type 2 osteoporosis or senile osteoporosis occurs in men and women after the age of 75. Finally, secondary osteoporosis may arise at any age and affect men and women equally. This form of osteoporosis results from chronic predisposing medical problems or disease.
Osteoporosis risks can be reduced with lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes include diet and exercise. Medications including calcium, bisphosphonates and vitamin D can all contribute to preventing osteoporosis and sometimes medication; in people with osteoporosis, treatment may involve both. Lifestyle change includes diet and exercise, and preventing falls. Medication includes calcium, vitamin D, bisphosphonates and several others. Reduced cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption can also reduce one's likelihood of developing osteoporosis. For seniors a great focus is placed on fall prevention, in order to reduce the risk of fractures.
Osteoporosis does not have any symptoms and its main consequence is the increased risk of bone fractures. Osteoporotic fractures are those that occur in situations where healthy people would not normally break a bone. Typical fragility fractures occur in the rib, hip and wrist area. Fractures are the most debilitating aspect of osteoporosis. In the elderly these fractures can lead to further disability and early mortality.
Although there is no cure for Osteoporosis, there are ways of managing the disease. Eating a more nutritious diet, strengthening exercises and increasing one’s intake of calcium and vitamin d can help.