In normal bone, bone formation and bone resorption are closely coupled. In osteoporosis, the net rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation, resulting in bone mineralization.
In Women, osteoclast activity is increased because of decreased estrogen; as men and women age > 60 yr, osteoblast activity drops off. Men with prematurely decrease testosterone may have increased osteoclast activity. These changes result in further net loss of bone.
The amount of bone available for mechanical support of the skeleton eventually falls below the fracture threshold and the patient may sustain a fracture with little or no trauma.
What are the symptoms of Osteoporosis? Symptoms associated with osteoporosis include the following:
• Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
• Loss of height over time
• A stooped posture
• A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected
It may be helpful to have a Chiropractor assess your pain levels and implement a program to address pain relief. Dr. Caulfield at mysurreychiro.com has seen many cases of osteoporosis throughout his years of chiropractic treatment in Surrey, BC.
What are the causes and who is at risk?
Women (primarily small-boned Caucasian and Asian) are most at risk for both conditions, primarily those who are age 65 or older as well as women who are postmenopausal. However, men can also be affected.
Peak bone mass in men and women occurs by the middle of the third decade of life and plateaus for about 10 years, during which turnover of bone is constant, with the bone formation approximately equalling bone resorption. This is followed by net bone loss of about 0.3 to 0.5% per year.
Some of the common causes of both conditions include:
• Lifestyle habits
◦ Insufficient calcium
◦ Sedentary lifestyle
◦ Excessive alcohol consumption
◦ Vitamin D deficiency
◦ Carbonated beverages
• Medical Situations
◦ Bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders
◦ Estrogen deficiency in women
◦ Certain hormone imbalances
◦ Overactive thyroid
◦ Certain treatments including radiation and chemotherapy
◦ Low testosterone in men
◦ Medications including anti-seizure, hydrocortisone, and steroids
• Health issues
◦ Cystic fibrosis
◦ Crohn’s disease
◦ Digestive issues
It should also be noted that certain types of diets, particularly those that advocate extremely low fat, or no fat can also cause problems. Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption in the body, but vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning the body requires some fat in order to make use of it. When there is inadequate fat, the vitamin cannot be absorbed and in turn, calcium cannot be absorbed.
A family history of osteoporosis or low bone mass can increase a person risk by 50% to 85%.
How is it diagnosed?
Bone mineral density (BMD) tests are used to diagnose osteoporosis by measuring the calcium levels in bone. This type of test can also provide an estimate of how much at risk a person is for bone fractures.
This test is painless and non-invasive. It is usually performed on the heel, shin bone, wrist, spine, finger, or hip.
Preventions and treatments
The goals of management of osteoporosis are to prevent fractures, to decrease back and joint pain when present and to maintain function.
Pharmaceuticals are used to minimize further bone loss. The risk of fracture can be reduced by maintaining adequate, body weight, increased walking, and other weight-bearing exercises.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol intake, smoking, and long-acting benzodiazepines. Please consult your Doctor to assess and medications.
Women and men should consult their Doctor regarding the intake of calcium, Vitamin D, supplements.