Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. It is the most common type of bone disease.
Osteoporosis occurs when the body fails to form enough new bone, when too much old bone is reabsorbed by the body, or both. Calcium and phosphate are two minerals that are essential for normal bone formation. Throughout youth, your body uses these minerals to produce bones. If you do not get enough calcium, or if your body does not absorb enough calcium from the diet, bone production and bone tissues may suffer.
Other causes of osteoporosis include:
Other risk factors of osteoporosis include:
There are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Osteoporosis symptoms occurring late in the disease include:
Self-Care at Home
If you suspect that you have signs or symptoms of osteoporosis or have risk factors for osteoporosis, see your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.
Treatment for osteoporosis focuses on slowing down or stopping the mineral loss, increasing bone density, preventing bone fractures, and controlling the pain associated with the disease.
Surgery for Osteoporosis
There are no surgeries for treating osteoporosis itself. However, a procedure called vertebroplasty can be used to treat any small fractures in your spinal column due to osteoporosis. It can also help prevent weak vertebrae from becoming fractured by strengthening the bones in your spinal column.
The procedure involves injecting fast-hardening glue into the areas that are fractured or weak. A similar procedure, called kyphoplasty, uses balloons to widen the spaces that need the glue. (The balloons are removed during the procedure.)
Some of the most important treatments for osteoporosis prevention include diet, exercise, and not smoking. These recommendations apply to men and women.
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