What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, a bone disease characterised by the weakening of bones due to calcium loss, often goes unnoticed until fractures occur. It commonly affects the spine, hips, and wrists, and can lead to spinal deformities, particularly in older women.

Causes and Risk Factors

The primary cause of osteoporosis is the reduction in estrogen levels post-menopause, affecting approximately 25% of women over 60. Early menopause or surgical ovary removal before age 45 increases this risk. Additionally, bone density naturally decreases after 50, thinning bones by 1-3% annually. Other risk factors include:

  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • European or Asian descent
  • Insufficient intake of Vitamin D and calcium
  • Frequent consumption of alcohol or caffeine
  • Smoking habits
  • Sudden weight loss due to extreme dieting or exercise
  • Prolonged steroid use
  • Hormonal or thyroid disorders
  • Chronic conditions like liver or gastrointestinal diseases

Osteoporosis in Men

Though less common, men also face osteoporosis risks, primarily due to alcohol abuse or testosterone deficiency.

Preventive Measures for Osteoporosis

To safeguard bone health, adopt a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D from an early age. Regular exercise, avoiding smoking, and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake are also crucial. Bone health screenings after 50 are recommended for early detection of bone loss.

Treatment Approaches

If diagnosed with osteoporosis, treatment options vary based on individual needs, as determined by a healthcare professional. Medication may be prescribed as part of the treatment plan.