More common in women above the age of 50, osteoporosis usually comes with no symptoms and is also known as the “silent disease”.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease where the bone structure gets porous and weak. Losing density and mass, bones become more prone to fractures.
A reduction in mineral bone density if a normal part of aging after the age of 35. However, for some, this happens at a greater rate leading to osteoporosis. It affects women more than men on a ratio of 2:1. It is a silent condition as there are no symptoms until a fracture occurs often after a fall.
Osteoporosis can affect all bones in the body, however the areas that are most prone to fractures include hip, spine and wrist.
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Bone Mineral Density Scan
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Osteoporosis – a silent disease that results in progressive bone loss over the years with many far-reaching and serious consequences. Many people are not aware of the condition until they sustain a fracture. It is predominantly seen in the older population affecting both sexes, although postmenopausal women are at higher risk. Fractures can lead to loss of function or mobility.
Some risk factors for osteoporosis include:
Sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise which is needed to build bone)
Insufficient calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and Vitamin D in the diet
Being underweight (BMI < 18.5kg/m2)
Smoking (reduces calcium absorption)
Older age (Bones reach their peak density at about 20 years of age and subsequently decrease with age)
Certain medical conditions (e.g. cancer, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease)
As bone loss is irreversible, treatment aims to prevent further bone loss & preserve the existing bone mass. Some of the medications used for treatment include the bisphosphonates such as Alendronate & Risedronate, Tibolone, Strontium Ranelate and Raloxifene. Since the medications used for osteoporosis treatment are prescription-only drugs, speak to your doctor for more information.
Tips for maintaining health bones
There are several ways to ensure healthy bones:
Calcium is required to build bones. Calcium is lost daily via urine, faeces, sweat, or shed in skin, hair and nails. If there is not enough calcium in the blood and tissues, calcium from bones will be leached out to replace the deficiency, eventually resulting in bone loss. It is recommended to obtain our intake from calcium rich foods, e.g. milk, cheese, yoghurt or fortified cereals, tofu or soymilk. If we are unable to meet them through a balanced diet, we can consider taking supplements.
Vitamin D Supplementation
Vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium from the diet. The body can make Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is found in egg yolks and oily fish e.g. salmon and cod, fortified milk, soymilk and cereal. Many calcium supplements also contain Vitamin D.
Weight bearing exercise refers to activities that make us move against gravity, e.g. brisk walking, dancing, aerobics and Tai Chi. Regular exercise is important to build and maintain bone density. Consult your doctor before starting an exercise regime.
Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis in both sexes. It has been shown that women who smoke are 50% more likely to suffer from osteoporosis than non-smokers.
Osteoporosis can lead to fractures, which may adversely affect our quality of life. There are risk factors that we can modify. Let us take charge of our lifestyle and our health, start now by talking to us, call +65 64712674.
Call +65 64712674 to make an appointment to see our doctor regarding osteoporosis today.
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Osteoporosis, The Silent Disease
Osteoporosis is called ‘the silent disease’ for a reason. During the early stages of the condition, you will typically have no signs and symptoms. But once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you start to feel back pain, your posture will become stooped, and you will be more prone to bone fractures.
Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease that causes bone to become weak and brittle. For severe cases, even a mild fall or slight bending can cause a bone fracture. Our bone is a living tissue, which is being constantly renewed. Osteoporosis happens when the formation to new bones is slow to replace old bones, or when our body ultimately fails to form enough new bone. Although osteoporosis is sex and race blind, affecting both men and women of all races, women who are past menopause are more prone to it.
In Singapore, over the last 30 years, cases of hip fractures have increased five times in women aged 50 and above, and 1.5 times in men of the same age group. The bad news? It is a serious and debilitating condition. The good news? Osteoporosis can be prevented.
Say No To Bone Loss
Mind Your Diet
Calcium is your bones’ best friend. They help your body build strong bones. So find every opportunity to incorporate low-fat milk and non-fat yoghurt into your diet, as these are healthy sources of calcium. Fish and greens are also rich in calcium, so is soy. Sardines and salmons are your best bets, as well as brocolli, kale and bok choy.
You hear it often enought, and we say it again. Cigarette smoking is bad for your health. Cigarette smoke is packed with massive amounts of free radicals that cause a chain-reaction of damage throughout the body, including cells, organs, and hormones that work together to keep your bones strong and healthy. Amongst women, one in eight hip fractures is linked to long-term cigarette use. Studies also confirm that smokers tend to heal fractures slower than non-smokers.
To help strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis, at least a 30-minute exercise daily is recommended. Exercises occupied with weight lifting help to simulate bone formation and make bone become stronger. It also helps to improve your balance and flexibility, which is necessary to reduce risks of falls that can cause fractures. Aerobics, dancing, jogging, Tai Chi, yoga, tennis, weight lifting and even climbing stairs are some of the recommendation exercises you can try.
Cut Back on Alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption is bad for you on so many levels. When you drink too much alcohol, your body fails to absorb calcium and Vitamin D properly and adequately. As much as possible, limit your drink to one a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Cortisol and parathyroid hormones, which are both potentially bone damaging, are seen in people with alcoholism. What’s more, high alcohol intake also puts osteoblasts, the bone-making cells, at risk.
Take Bone Mineral Density Test
Osteoporosis can be prevented. Do a bone mineral density test early to check whether you are at risk of Osteoporosis.
Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 Hour) to fix an appointment to see our orthopaedic surgeon to check for Osteoporosis today.
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1. What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disorder of the skeleton in which bones become fragile and susceptible to fractures. If it’s not prevented or treated, it can progress painlessly until a bone breaks.
2. Who Gets Osteoporosis?
Anybody can get osteoporosis; but women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men because their oestrogen decreases at menopause, which often results in significant bone loss. However, men also get osteoporosis. People with a family history of osteoporosis or fragility fractures are more susceptible to getting osteoporosis.
3. What Causes Osteoporosis?
The most common causes of osteoporosis are inadequate diet, smoking, heavy drinking, insufficient weight-bearing activity and a decrease in oestrogen or testosterone.
4. How is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?
The most common test for diagnosing osteoporosis is called a DEXA test (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry).
5. What can I do to Prevent Osteoporosis?
Eat a balanced diet
Avoid smoking and excessive drinking
6. When Should I Have a Bone Density Test?
If you’re a woman, it can be helpful for you to establish a baseline for your bone density either at the age of 50 or around the time of menopause, whichever comes earlier. Establishing a baseline can help you to determine your rate and amount of loss during menopause. Examining your test results can increase your awareness of osteoporosis and encourage you to take preventive measures against it.
Men aged 50 or older should be tested. And whether you’re a man or a woman, bone density tests are usually advisable if you:
have had a fracture resulting from minor impact
have a chronic disease that causes bone loss
take antiseizure drugs
take high doses of thyroid medication
Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 Hours) to have Osteoporosis check today. Screening package starts at $168.
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Ageing and Bone Health
Approximately 200 million women suffer from osteoporosis worldwide. A third of women over the age of 50 years will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point in their lives in Europe and in the United States. Annually, 1.7 million hip fractures are related to osteoporosis. Locally, the number of osteoporotic hip fractures has increased five-fold over the last 30 years.
Osteoporosis (literally – porous bone) is a condition characterised by low bone mass and increased bone fragility. Bone is a living tissue. Bone mass is a balance between new bone being produced and existing bone being lost (resorbed). During childhood and adolescence, bone is produced faster that it is resorbed. This results in a steadily increasing bone mass. Bone mass peaks in the early 20s and gradually declines after. There is a more rapid decline in bone mass in females after menopause.
Significance of Osteoporosis
The significance of osteoporosis is the case with which sufferers fracture their bones. Healthybones only break when significant forces are applied to them. Osteoporotic bones break with mild injury. Common fractures encountered with osteoporosis include vertebral compression fractures, hip fractures and wrist fractures. All these occur with simple, low energy, falls. The aim of treatment for osteoporosis is to prevent such fractures from happening.
A vertebral compression fracture is usually caused by a fall onto the buttocks and results in the front of the spine being crushed.
While a vertebral compression fracture is often left to heal on its own, hip fractures routinely require surgery to fix them or to replace the joint.
Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
Non-modifiable risk factors
Female gender and menopause
European and Asian ancestry
Family history of osteoporosis
Past history of an osteoporotic fracture
Modifiable risk factors
Excessive alcohol consumption
Vitamin D deficiency
Malnutrition (especially from low calcium intake)
Diagnosis of Osteoporosis
The diagnosis of osteoporosis made through a DXA or Bone Density scan. This is a simple investigation using X-rays to determine bone density in the hip and spine. The values are compared to that of the peak bone mass of the population (bone mass of the population in their 20s) and the diagnosis of osteoporosis is made based on how much the obtained values differ from peak bone mass.
It is recommended that ladies below the age of 60 should undergo a bone density scan if they have risk factors for osteoporosis. For those without risk factors, the bone density should be screened at the age of 65.
Act now by signing up an Osteoporosis Screening Package at $168.
Bone Mineral Density Scan – Hip and Spine scan
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Treatment for Osteoporosis
Multiple different drugs are available for improving bone mass. Te indication for starting treatment is established osteoporosis diagnosed with a DXA scan. These drugs are not recommended for low bone mass if the criteria for diagnosis of osteoporosis have not been met. If the probability is more than 3% for a hip fracture or more than 20% for other major fractures, treatment should also be started.
These medications work by increasing bone production, decreasing bone resorption or both. They are used in conjunction with calcium and vitamin D supplementation as well as lifestyle modifications outlined above.
The prevalence of osteoporosis is increasing. The impact of osteoporosis can be minimised with appropriate lifestyle and dietary modifications. Once diagnosed, the risk of osteoporosis fractures can be reduced with appropriate medical treatment.
Do seek advice from a medical professional if you have concerns about osteoporosis as the outcome in terms of fracture risk reduction is far better with early osteoporosis than with severe osteoporosis.
Call +65 6471 2674 to see our orthopaedic specialist regarding your concerns about osteoporosis today.