Osteoporosis Essay Examples & Outline

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Osteoporosis


Osteoporosis is a condition whereby bones become brittle and weak. Even mild stress or fall can result in a fracture, and this mostly occurs in the spine, hip or wrist. Bones should be replaced and constantly absorbed, and failure of new bones to keep up with the old bone that has been removed is what makes osteoporosis occur. Osteoporosis attacks both genders and all races are susceptible (Bruyère, 2014). However, Asian and White women are more at risk, especially after menopause.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms include backs pains, which are caused by a collapsed or fractured vertebra, frequent bone fractures, a slow loss of height, and a stooped posture.
Diagnosis of osteoporosis can be done by machines that measure the bone density using low X-ray levels (Kanis, 2014). This helps establish the mineral proportion contained in bones. This test is painless and simply involves the use of a scanner that is passed above the body. In most instances, it is only necessary to check a few bones, especially those located in the spine, hip or wrist to check if there is any risk.

Treatment

Bisphosphonates still remain the most preferred medications for osteoporosis for both genders. Examples include Zoledronic acid such as Zometa and Reclast, Ibandronate such as Boniva, Risedronate such as Atelvia and Actonel, as well as Alendronate such as Binosto and Fosamax. Other osteoporosis medications that are less common include Denosumab and Teriparatide. Teriparatide is particularly powerful because it helps stimulate new bone growth (Kaufman, 2014). It is administered by injecting it under the skin.

Side effects include difficulty when it comes to swallowing, abdominal pain, nausea or even an inflamed esophagus. However, if the medication is taken properly, there is a low risk of these side effects occurring. Bisphosphonates also come in injected forms, and these are meant to reduce stomach upsets. There have been fears, however, that if bisphosphonates are taken for an extended period, they might lead to rare problems, one of which is the cracking of the thighbones (Reginster, 2014). In other incidences, the thighbone could even break completely. It is, therefore, important that dental examinations be regularly taken when using bisphosphonates medication. In men, the disease causes a reduction in testosterone levels, and this process is often gradual. To help improve bone density, testosterone replacement therapy should be encouraged.

Risk factors

Risk factors for osteoporosis have been divided into hormone levels, unchangeable risks, dietary factors and lifestyle choices. Hormone levels that increase osteoporosis chances include sex hormones, especially estrogen levels reduction at menopause, thyroid problems, and other glands like adrenal and parathyroid glands. Unchangeable risk factors include sex, where women are more at risk, age, family history as well as frame size. Individuals with small body frames are more at risk because their bone mass is lesser. This condition worsens with age.

Dietary risk factors include low calcium intake, gastrointestinal surgery that reduces the stomach size and eating disorders (Shapiro, 2014). Anorexic individuals are more at risk. With regards to lifestyle choices, sedentary lifestyles and excessive alcohol and substance abuse increases osteoporosis risk. Other causes of osteoporosis include malabsorption where nutrients are not absorbed properly, chemotherapy that results in early menopause because of the toxic effect that it has on ovaries, and amenorrhea. It can also be caused by chronic inflammation, immobility from conditions such as stroke, as well as hyperthyroidism.

Prevention

For bones to be kept healthy throughout one’s life, certain steps would be helpful. Individuals have to participate regularly in exercises and Vitamin D and Calcium has to be taken in adequate amounts. About 1,000 mg of calcium should is necessary daily. Sources for this include calcium-fortified cereals such as oranges, dairy products that are low-fat, soy products, green leafy vegetables, as well as canned salmon. Sunlight remains the best option as far as Vitamin D is concerned (Soriano, 2014). However, food supplements can still be used for this purpose, especially for those individuals residing in high altitudes. Through exercises, strong bones are built, and slow ones are lost. Weight-bearing exercises should be combined with strength-training exercises for best results.

Consequences

Bone fractures caused by osteoporosis can cause considerable pain, and this can consequently reduce the quality of life that individuals lead. It could result in disability, and this could translate into lost workdays because the condition allows for very minimal movements. Patients suffering from osteoporosis will often need a long term care, preferably in a nursing home, and for elderly patients, this could come with the added risk of blood clots and pneumonia. There is also a high death risk associated with osteoporosis, and this is especially so for elderly women. The occurrence of one fracture quickly leads to other fractures, and this could easily spiral out of control (Kanis, 2014).

Living with osteoporosis

Various steps can be undertaken to reduce pain during osteoporosis, and consequently sped up recovery. They include cold and hot treatments like cold packs and warm backs, and using nerve stimulation techniques. Relaxation techniques can also come in handy with regards to this.

References

Bruyère, O. (2014). Monitoring of osteoporosis therapy. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 835–841.
Kanis, J. A. (2014). The application of health technology assessment in osteoporosis. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Kaufman, J.-M. (2014). Current and future treatments of osteoporosis in men. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Reginster, J. (2014). Efficacy and safety of currently marketed anti-osteoporosis medications. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 809–834.
Shapiro, J. R. (2014). Chapter 39 – Transient Migratory Osteoporosis in Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Osteogenesis Imperfecta, 359–370.
Soriano, R. (2014). Current and future treatments of secondary osteoporosis. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 885–894.