Everything You Need to Know About Osteoporosis
February 25, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

Everything You Need to Know About Osteoporosis


Osteoporosis is a disease of bones—it causes the bones to become extremely weak and brittle, such that they may fracture and even break due to regular everyday movements. These fractures commonly occur at places where there is increased movement. For example, the bones most at risk of these fractures are the ones in the ribs, hips, knees, wrist, spine, etc.

In extreme cases, minor actions like bending down or even coughing and sneezing can cause the bones to break. This deadly disease occurs when bones begin to lose their density and mass. As a result, there forms an abnormal tissue structure.

The word ‘Osteoporosis’ basically means ‘porous bones’. Hence, bones affected by osteoporosis look hollowed out when compared with healthy bones. Typically, this condition affects a person in old age.

What Causes Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is caused by the reduction of bone mass. Throughout a person’s life, bones continue to grow and renew while old bones are broken down. However, this process of renewal is faster in youth as compared to the rate at which the body breaks down old bones. As a result, the bone mass is regularly increased. 

When a person reaches their late 20’s, this process begins to slow down. Thus, peak bone mass is accumulated at the age of ’30s. After this age, the breaking down process becomes faster than regrowth. 

Hence, the risks of developing osteoporosis depend upon the amount of “bone” you have saved up. Apart from this natural process, hormone levels are known to affect bone mass. 

Hormone levels

Lowering sex-related hormones can weaken bone mass. This is the leading risk factor of osteoporosis and it endangers women much greater than men. When estrogen levels abruptly start to reduce during menopause bone loss is accelerated. 

In contrast, the reduction of testosterone levels in men is more gradual. Moreover, medical treatments for prostate cancer and breast cancer reduce testosterone and estrogen levels respectively. That puts an individual at greater risk for osteoporosis. 

Thyroid glands

An overactive thyroid gland leads to accelerated bone loss. It typically happens if one is taking too much medication to treat a malfunctioning thyroid gland, or if the thyroid gland is overactive.

Dietary conditions 

Eating disorders can result in bone loss. Malnutrition and being underweight especially cause the bone to weaken much faster. Furthermore, low calcium intake also affects the healthy growth of bones. Medications and Steroids

Bone loss is heavily impacted by corticosteroid medications and these particularly include two certain drugs: Cortisone and prednisone. These two inhibit the natural bone rebuilding process which results in bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a silent disease, it creeps in without much notice since one cannot feel their bones weakening. It only becomes evident when big symptoms such as breaking of bones occur. Here are other symptoms:

        Stooping and crouched posture

        Back pain resulting in collapsed or fractured vertebrae 

        Gradual height loss 

        A bone-breaking abnormally easily

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may be suffering from osteoporosis. Book an appointment with Shifa4U now and consult with a physician to determine a course of treatment. 

Treatments for Osteoporosis

A proper treatment plan and exercise can lead to a healthier life, regardless of the fact that osteoporosis is irreversible. This treatment specifically includes intake of Vitamin D and calcium, which strengthens your bones and lowers their rate of breakdown. 



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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.