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Osteoporosis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

The information you are going to get from this Article are:
1. What is Osteoporosis?
2. The structure of a Healthy Bone.
3. Why does Osteoporotic Bone differ from healthy bone?
4. Do you know which gender is mostly getting Osteoporosis?
5. Causes of Osteoporosis.
6. Symptoms of Osteoporosis.
7. Diagnosis of Osteoporosis.
8. Treatment for Osteoporosis.
9. Exercises.


Osteoporosis (porous bones) is a disease that causes bones to become thin, less dense, and weak. It is very important to take care when doing different activities in osteoporosis because the bones of the patient become so weak that Even the right stress could cause a fracture. Osteoporosis is also known as “silent disease” because it causes a sudden fracture without any symptoms. The bones of the whole body are affected by this condition but mostly, it occurs in the wrist, hip, and spine.

Structure of a Healthy Bone

A bone is an organ that consists of dense connective tissues. It has a middle elongated part called diaphysis and two terminal parts called epiphysis. All bones are surrounded by the periosteum (a tough layer of connective tissues enveloping the bones). Cortical bones or compact bones are present inside the periosteum. The compact bone is the outer shell of the bone which is dense and strong. The compact bone consists of cells of the bones called osteocytes and Haversian canals which are interconnected vesicular canals. Haversian canals provide nutrients to osteocytes. Spongy or cancellous bone is present inside the compact bone. This bone appeared like a honeycomb because of the presence of large spaces in it. Inside all bones present the bone marrow.

The structural difference between Healthy Bones and Osteoporosis

When the bones are healthy the body can easily do different activities. When some parts of the bones become weak they have been replaced by new ones. This process is done by cells called osteoblasts that build new bones and osteoclasts that remove the older bones. Calcium and vitamin D also plays a vital role in maintaining the strong structure of the bones. In osteoporosis, the holes in the spongy part of the bones become bigger as compared to healthy bones, there is a breakdown in the coordination of the osteoblast and osteoclast as the activity of the osteoblast becomes less and the osteoclast becomes more active, and there is a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D in the body that are very important nutrients for strong bones resulting in weakening of bones.

Which Gender is more likely to develop Osteoporosis?

Both men and women can get osteoporosis but women over 50 years are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis. This is because as compared to men, women have thin bones, their bone strength is also less, and due to menopause (end of the menstrual cycle), hormonal changes occur in women due to which a hormone called estrogen reduces in the body which is important for bone health. As a result of reducing estrogen the bone density decreases.

Causes Of Osteoporosis

1. Less Intake of Calcium

Calcium is very important for keeping the bones healthy and strong. It works with a protein called collagen and makes the bones robust and healthy. When calcium is deficient in the body, the bone density falls, bones become brittle and weak.

2. Eating Disorder

An eating disorder such as “anorexia nervosa” (it causes a strong fear of gaining weight due to which a person has an abnormally low body weight) can cause osteoporosis. This disease results in less bone density which could cause a fracture.

3. Smoking

It’s a fact that smoking causes many chronic diseases, but it also has a great negative impact on the bones. The nicotine present in cigarettes reduces the blood supply to the bones, slows down the development of osteoblasts that form the bones, decreases the calcium absorption in the bones, and reduces the levels of vitamin D in the body ending up lowering the bone density and increasing the chances of getting a fracture.

4. Alcohol

Excessive intake of alcohol causes bone weakening. This is due to an imbalance in the absorption of calcium and a reduction in vitamin D in the body. Both of these minerals are very important for bone health.

Symptoms Of Osteoporosis

We have already discussed that osteoporosis shows no signs until it causes a fracture. But some of the warning signs are back pain, due to a fracture, you will lose height as time passes, stopped posture, weakening the bones, and increasing the chance of breaking the bone.

Diagnosis Of Osteoporosis

Most commonly the diagnosing of osteoporosis includes a bone mineral density (BMD) scan which is done by a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). The doctor scans the bones especially the hip and spine bones to check the density and thickness of the bones. another way to diagnose osteoporosis is a blood test which is used to measure the levels of vitamin D and calcium in the blood.

Treatment Of Osteoporosis

There are few medications to treat osteoporosis. But before using them, must consult your doctor.

1. Fosamax

It is a branded name of Alendronic acid, a bisphosphonate that is used to treat osteoporosis. This medication is given to the patient daily or weekly. Fosamax reduces the risk of bone loss and fracture in hip and spine bones. diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain are the side effects of osteoporosis.

2. Boniva

Boniva (Ibandronic acid) is also bisphosphate that is used to treat osteoporosis. This medicine is taken every month. But you should only use medicines prescribed by your doctor.


Doing regular exercise is very beneficial for bone health. Exercise not only reduces bone loss but also protects the bone tissues and makes the muscles stronger. It also reduces the bones from getting fractured. some of the exercises are walking, stair climbing, etc are good for osteoporosis. During exercise avoid putting pressure and stress on the body.

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