Fall in bone mineral density or BMD leads to Osteoporosis


Maintain a healthy bone density and reduce the chances of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis as we all know is a disease of the bones. The word is of Greek origin and is means ‘porous bones’ because this is the disease where bone density and mass keeps decreasing, resulting in gaps or hollow inside the bones which in turn increases the chances of fracture because the bones turn dryer and thinner and are therefore typically brittle. The three main conditions the disease is characterized by are:

  • Fall in bone mineral density or BMD
  • Deterioration in bone micro-architecture, that is weakening of the bones in other words
  • Alteration in the different kinds of proteins the bones need to stay nourished

The disease can be classified into three basic types. The classification is on the basis of the following:

  • Age of the patient
  • Sex of the patient
  • The three categories this disease is classified into are briefly discussed below:

    • Primary type 1- The disease is more common in women than in men and the time after menopause is the when it is most likely to set in. As a result of the body’s withdrawal of many hormones that were secreted for the nourishment of a potential child, the woman stops receiving these nourishments herself. Hence, if the diet is not made healthier and more nourishing after menopause, the bones start weakening, giving way to the disease. Menopause being the primary reason behind this, it is also called post menopausal osteoporosis.
    • Primary type 2- This is also called senile osteoporosis as it occurs due to old age. The age group to categorize the disease under this type is 75 and above. It is seen in both men and women but the percentage of females affected by this type of the disease is twice as much as the percentage of the males affected.
    • Secondary type- This is the broadest category that includes all cases of the disease that do not come under either of the first two categories. It can affect men and women equally and at any age. Even children can be affected by this disease. One of the reasons for the onset of the disease in young people is excessive use of steroid or glococorticoids.

    Though the disease is related with menopause and growing old, the chances of being affected by this disease can be reduced by making just a few changes in the lifestyle which include:

    • Avoiding falls
    • Avoiding excessive pressure on the bones for prolonged period of time
    • Getting systematic exercise regularly
    • Following a healthy diet that incorporates having food rich in vitamin D and calcium and most importantly, saying a big ‘NO’ to colas. Aerated drinks have a corrosive effect on the bones.

    There are no symptoms of the disease as such. The only problem is the increased fragility of the bones. Osteoporotic fractures, also called fragility fractures are fractures that occur in cases where a normal bone would not get fractured. For a person affected by osteoporosis, the vertebral column, ribs, pelvic bones, wrist and ankles, and fingers and toes are most likely to get fractured.