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Health

Understanding Osteoporosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened bones, is often referred to as the “silent thief” because it can progress without noticeable symptoms until a fracture occurs. However, with knowledge and proactive measures, you can manage osteoporosis and maintain strong, healthy bones.

Causes of Osteoporosis

A multitude of factors can contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Here are some key ones:

  • Age: Bone density naturally declines with age, making older adults more susceptible.
  • Menopause: In women, estrogen plays a vital role in bone health. Decreased estrogen levels after menopause can accelerate bone loss.
  • Family history: Having a family member with osteoporosis increases your risk.
  • Lifestyle factors: A diet low in calcium and vitamin D, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking can weaken bones.
  • Certain medical conditions: Chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and hormonal imbalances can affect bone health.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

Early osteoporosis often shows no symptoms. However, as the condition develops, you might experience:

  • Back pain: This is a common complaint, especially when fractures occur in the vertebrae.
  • Loss of height: Over time, vertebrae can compress, leading to a noticeable decrease in height.
  • Bone fractures: Even minor falls or bumps can cause fractures in weakened bones.

Treatment Options to Strengthen Your Bones

While there is no cure for osteoporosis, various treatment options can help prevent further bone loss and reduce risks of fractures. These include:

  • Medication: Doctors may prescribe bisphosphonates, denosumab, or other medications to increase bone density.
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements: These are fundamental for bone health and may be recommended to address deficiencies.
  • Lifestyle changes: Maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in weight-bearing exercises, and quitting smoking are crucial.
  • Physical therapy: Exercises can improve balance and strength, reducing the risk of falls.

Can Back Braces Help with Osteoporosis?

Back braces for osteoporosis are not a primary treatment, but they can offer some benefits:

  • Pain management: By providing support and stabilizing the spine, a brace can help alleviate back pain caused by fractures.
  • Improved posture: A properly fitted brace can encourage good posture, minimizing strain on the spine.

Conclusion

Osteoporosis may be a chronic condition, but it doesn’t have to control your life. By understanding the causes and symptoms and discussing treatment options with your doctor, you can take proactive steps to maintain bone health and prevent complications. Consult with the right osteoporosis doctor through NowServing for early diagnosis and intervention. NowServing is a telemedicine platform that aims to make healthcare services more accessible to Filipinos. Visit their website at https://nowserving.ph/ for more information. 

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