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South Florida Rheumatology Blog

Rheumatologist in Pembroke Pines Explains Osteoporosis

Rheumatologist in Pembroke Pines Explains Osteoporosis the Silent Disease

Osteoporosis is a silent disease. One does not know it is present until he or she experiences severe pain, frequently in the lower part of the back or other bony area that may be subjected to stress or minor injury.

Bone is living tissue that is constantly breaking down and being replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the formation of new bone fails to keep up with the removal of old bone. The most common areas that are affected include the spine, hip, and wrist, but no bone is exempt from this disorder. Although women are more severely plagued with Osteoporosis, men also are affected.

There are several causes of osteoporosis, including; menopause, the aging process, poor diet, certain medications, as well as a family history of this disorder. Other risk factors may also predispose to the condition.

When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone and the bone mass increases. The majority of people reach their peak bone mass in their early twenties. As people age, however, bone mass is lost faster than it’s created, and the result is the formation of soft, fragile bones that can more easily fracture. How likely one is to develop osteoporosis depends upon how much bone mass you attain in your youth. The higher your bone mass, the more bone you have saved in your “bone bank” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.Too much or too little of certain hormones can affect the development of osteoporosis. Lowered sex hormone levels tend to weaken bone. The reduction of estrogen levels at menopause is the main cause of osteoporosis in women.

An excess of thyroid hormone can also cause bone loss. This may occur if you’re thyroid is overactive or if you take too much thyroid medication to treat an underactive thyroid. People with a history of diabetes mellitus also have an increased risk for osteoporosis. Abnormalities of the parathyroid and adrenal glands have also been associated with this disorder. As mentioned previously, medications such as cortisone derivatives can also contribute to this process.
Osteoporosis can be simply diagnosed with use of a device that measures bone density. This requires very minimal radiation and is very accurate in determining both a baseline and follow-up as to the progression of osteoporosis.

The good thing about osteoporosis is that we have several effective treatments today. These consist of both oral and injectable medications, which when taken with calcium and Vitamin D, can halt and sometimes reverse the process. Which treatment to choose is determined by the preferences of the patient after consultation with his or her physician. Taken as prescribed, these medications can halt and sometimes reverse the process, so that people today do not have to suffer the ravages of this preventable disorder.

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