Osteoporosis

In: Other Topics

Submitted By lucyiris1
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What is Osteoporosis?
According the National Osteoporosis Society, in the UK population one in five men and one in two women over the age of 50, will sustain a bone fracture as a likely consequence of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a progressive disease which affects bone density and is characterised by the structure of the bone becoming more porous. Under a microscope osteoporotic bone is clearly identifiable, as it contains many more holes within the structure of the bone matrix compared to normal bone. This change in bone mass causes the bone to be structurally weaker and makes it more vulnerable to fracture. Ordinarily, healthy bone structure relies on two finely balanced processes of; bone formation and bone breakdown. In the case of osteoporosis, bone breakdown occurs more rapidly than bone formation, compromising both structure and strength. Furthermore the National Osteoporosis Society states that the daily cost of osteoporosis to the NHS is £6 million a day, with over one thousand deaths each month resulting from osteoporosis related hip fractures. These statistics are even more shocking when we consider that osteoporosis is largely a preventable disease.

Symptoms and Diagnosis?
Osteoporosis is problematic as it largely progresses in an asymptomatic manner, with diagnosis often not occurring until the point of the first fracture. At this stage the disease is well established and the bone density is already compromised. Commonly, fractures occur within the wrist (known as Colles fracture), the hip and the spine. There are a number of tests which can be carried out to diagnose osteoporosis: Ultrasound Scan: Which is used as an initial assessment of bone density, passing sound waves through the heel bone. DEXA X-ray : Blood and Urine Tests: A specialized x-ray machine, the DEXA scanner can accurately assess bone density. Bone breakdown provides by-products…...

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