Article

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

Nov. 13, 2017, 7:26 p.m.

Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle. In osteoporotic bone, a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause bone fracture.

Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races. But Asian women — especially older women who are past menopause — are at greatest risk.

Symptoms

There are usually no symptoms for osteoporosis until complication has occur.

Complication includes:

  • Bone fractures.
  • Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
  • Loss of height over time

Screening and Diagnosis

As women are at greater risk of osteoporosis, all women 65 years old and above should consider screening for osteoporosis with a BMD scan (a low level xray).

Women below 65 year old but with high OSTA score (see below) should consider screening also. 

Speak to your family doctor if you are at risk. They will determine if you need a BMD scan to meansure your bone density. It is just like a Chest X-rays or a bone X-rays, where during this painless test.

OSTA score : Age (year) minus Weight (kg)

20 and above: High risk. For BMD scan.

0-20: Moderate risk. Discuss with your doctor if you need BMD scan.

Less then 0: Low risk. No need for BMD scan.

Prevention

  1. Protein

Protein is one of the building blocks of bone. Protein supplementation is an option.

  1. Body weight

Being underweight increases the chance of bone loss and fractures. Excess weight is now known to increase the risk of fractures in your arm and wrist. As such, maintaining an appropriate body weight is good for bones just as it is for health in general.

  1. Calcium

Men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70.

  1. Vitamin D

Most multivitamin products contain between 600 and 800 IU of vitamin D. Up to 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day is safe for most people.

  1. Exercise

Exercise can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss. Combine strength training exercises with weight-bearing and balance exercises.

Treatment options

For those  who are proven to be osteoporotic on a BMD scan, treatment options are: 

  1. Oral or injectable bisphosphonate
  2. Strontium Ranelate
  3. Raloxifene (selective estrogen receptor modulator)Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle. In osteoporotic bone, a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause bone fracture.