Osteoporosis: Its Symptoms and Causes
When the human body begins to reabsorb bone calcium, adults over the age of 50 typically begin to show signs of osteoporosis. Unfortunately, the condition rarely manifests with early symptoms. Most people don’t complain of any symptoms until bone damage has already occurred.
While there are numerous symptoms of osteoporosis, the most common ones are frequent small-bone fractures (typically in the wrists, vertebrae and hips), and a stooped posture. In advanced cases, sufferers complain of severe back or hip pain and are commonly involved in falls that produce even more physical damage.
The most commonly known causes of osteoporosis are aging, menopause-related estrogen declines, lack of vitamin D and/or calcium, and endocrine imbalances. Those in high-risk groups for osteoporosis include sedentary older people, women over the age of 40, anyone with a family history of the disease, men with low testosterone levels, smokers and very thin people. Dr. Anbar Ahmad can perform tests to determine whether you are at risk or already suffering from osteoporosis.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Osteoporosis
The good news is that osteoporosis testing is quick and painless. The most common diagnostic test is called DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry). Bone density tests can help determine if you need treatment for osteoporosis.
For women, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one of the preventive measures, though it does have side effects and is not appropriate in all cases. Most commonly, bisphosphonates are the drug class that is used, which have the ability to slow or even reverse bone loss. Other medications are also available depending on the underlying cause and other medical problems you may have.
Regardless of your age or gender, there are some safe and effective ways to prevent osteoporosis. Consider restricting alcohol use. Limit caffeine consumption and quit smoking. Women can opt for HRT as a preventive measure. For people of all ages, regular exercise as well as adequate calcium and vitamin D consumption are highly recommended.
After making a diagnosis, Dr. Anbar Ahmad and her team will make a recommendation and treatment plan for your specific condition. Whatever treatments and/or medications are prescribed, the professionals at North Georgia Endocrinology will follow up with you and make sure that your condition is closely monitored.
Osteoporosis is a serious condition that currently affects nearly 10 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women! In addition, nearly 20 million U.S. residents suffer from low bone density. If you are concerned you may have osteoporosis, contact Dr. Anbar Ahmad to learn what you can do to address the condition.