Osteoporosis (brittle bones) is a condition characterized by a decrease in the density of the body’s bones, decreasing its strength and resulting in fragile bones. Osteoporosis can be present without any symptoms for decades. Therefore, patients may not be aware of their osteoporosis until they suffer a painful fracture. The symptom associated with osteoporotic fractures is usually pain and that they are caused by normal everyday load, but the fractures can also be silent, i.e. without symptoms.
What is Osteoporosis?
Normally, bone density is building up during childhood and peaks around age 25. The bone density is then maintained for about 10 years.
After age 35, both men and women will normally lose 0.3%-0.5% of their bone density per year as part of their normal aging processes.
During the first 5 to 10 years after menopause, women can suffer up to 2%-4% loss of bone density per year. This can result in a loss of up to 25%-30% of their bone density during that time period. The accelerated bone loss after menopause is a major cause of osteoporosis in women, referred to as postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is caused by many different conditions, such as a family history of osteoporosis, low body weight (BMI<19 kg/m2), previous fracture(s), lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption, malabsorption (disturbances in nutrient uptake), low estrogen levels in women (menopause before 45 years of age or early surgical removal of both ovaries), low testosterone levels in men, Vitamin D deficiency, and oral treatment with corticosteroids such as prednisone.
What causes Osteoporosis?
Patients with osteoporosis are identified using a DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scanner, which is able to measure bone density in the body. The scan is performed within 5 to 15 minutes, it exposes patients to very little radiation (less than one-tenth to one-hundredth of the amount used on a standard chest X-ray), and is very precise.
The bone density of the patient is compared to the average peak bone density of young adults of the same sex and race. This score is called the "T score".
It is difficult to rebuild bone that has been weakened by osteoporosis. Therefore, prevention of osteoporosis is as important as treatment. The following are osteoporosis prevention and treatment measures:
- Lifestyle changes, including quitting cigarette smoking and curtailing excessive alcohol intake
- Regularly exercise
- Consuming a balanced diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D
- Use of medication that stops bone loss and increase bone strength
If you suffer from osteoporosis or believe you could be at risk to have osteoporosis and are interested to learn more about participating in a clinical trial, please fill out the form, and we will contact you with more information.