Osteoporosis, as a human health issue, makes bones in old individuals weak and brittle. Bones are important parts of the body that undergo constant break down and replacement. However, osteoporosis sets in when the human rate of breaking down of bone tissues is higher than the rate of replacement of such tissues. Even though this condition affects both genders across the entire globe, White and Asian women in their menopause are the highest-risk group (Rizzoli 38). Proper medication, healthy eating habits, adequate calcium and vitamin D, and weight-bearing exercises act as the best preventive mechanisms. Such programs help prevent loss of bone tissues. At the same time, they help strengthen weak bone tissues.
Osteoporosis is a serious health problem across the globe. Even though it comes with serious consequences such as fractures in the spine, wrist, or hip, it is vital to note that several persons with low-bone mass often fail to detect the disease in time. As a result, many people with low-bone mass condition suffer problems associated with osteoporosis without proper preventive and curative programs. This further compromises the proper medication outcomes. Nurses and other health care service practitioners play a vital role in ensuring proper prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of this condition. Understanding the health statistics and best curative measures across the world help the health care practitioners to develop the best methods of dealing with this menace. Given the fact that this disease is rampant among the old age, proper and specialized care becomes very vital in both curative and preventive structures (Rizzoli 41). This paper seeks to underscore the causes and symptoms of this condition. Equally, the report develops an analysis of the preventive and curative mechanisms used in controlling this condition.
Osteoporosis presents significant health problems for the international community. As a skeleton disorder composed of decreased bones strength and increased probability of bone fractures, hip fractures represent greatest casualty of this condition, causing approximately double increase in mortality risk in more than one million annual hip fractures (Empana, Dargent-Molina, and Breart 687). Such fractures led to more than seven hundred thousand deaths with close to two million fracture-related disabilities, especially in North America, Japan, and Western Europe. The US in particular, reports over one and a half million osteoporosis related fractures with over three hundred thousand of such fractures affecting the hips (Rizzoli 45).
Despite statistics indicating hip fractures as the most common culprit of osteoporosis, spinal fractures emanating from the condition remain fatal. As Stovall (23) denote, spinal fractures lead to numerous serious conditions such as recurrent pain, deformity, decreased pulmonary functions, increased disabilities, reduced quality life, and increased risk of ulcers. With global trends showing steady increase in the cases of age-related osteoporosis, there exists a need for preventive and control measures to curb the menace. According to Stovall (24), estimates indicate that more than fourteen million persons will have the condition by 2020. In the European Union, hip fractures associated with the condition will increase from four hundred and fourteen thousand to nine hundred and seventy two thousand while spinal fractures will report more than thirty seven million by 2050 (Shatrugna et al. 1828).
Osteoporosis affects the body silently and progressively, making its detection relatively difficult from a physical point of view. Loss of height, due to fractures and vertebral compressions of fractures is the only documented physical sign of early stages of this condition (Shatrugna et al. 1831). Since this loss of height is highly inconspicuous, early detection becomes difficult until an individual suffers a fracture. Some of the risk factors associated with osteoporosis include sex in which postmenopausal women are at high risk, race – Whites and Asians record high number of casualties, body type – skinny and low body weight individual, and family history of hip fractures. Personal record of low-trauma fractures, estrogen deficiency, and low intake of calcium and vitamin D increase the risks of contracting the condition (Johnson, Clifford, and Smith 678).
Eighty percent of human bone characteristics are hereditary as Stovall (29), argues. The remnant percentage results from mineral intake levels and individual lifestyles. Information on the bone capacity and mass level help in the diagnosis of osteoporosis. Early detection through frequent bone mass checks helps in controlling, curing, and managing the disorder. Bone mineral density measurement using the central dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, according to Lewiecki et al. (143), act as the most common method of diagnosis of this condition. Measuring the average concentration of mineral per unit bone area in an individual patient, then assessing the standard unit deviations from the reading in relation to the mean value of the control population helps doctors to detect the variance in bone mass levels. According to World Health Organization (WHO), diagnosis of this condition considers the comparison between bone mass density of the patient to that of a young adult (T-score) for men and women above fifty years. Under normal and healthy conditions, T-score remain less than -1.0, and osteopenia occurs in records between -1.0 and -2.5, while records below -2.5 show signs of osteoporosis. However, other conditions such as hereditary low-bone masses and frequency of fractures come into play during diagnosis of the conditions (Arya et al. 58).
Calcium and vitamin D intake
According to Indumati, Patil, and Jailkhani (99), calcium and vitamin D intake reduce chances of contracting osteoporosis. Dietary sources help in increasing calcium and vitamin D intake. To enhance protection from the conditions, nutritionists and health care service practitioners recommend between 1000mg and 1500mg of daily calcium intake in both men and women. Even though high intake of calcium may lead to hypercalciuria, adequate intake of fluid, exercising, and dietary fibers help in controlling the negative impacts of excess intake. Similarly, vitamin D helps in improving calcium absorption rate, leading to improved protection from osteoporosis (Compston and Resson 69).
Increased body exercises
Increasing physical activities present several health benefits. Apart from improving blood pressure, enhancing cardiac functions, and boosting immune systems among other benefits, physical exercises especially weight bearing exercises help to reduce the probabilities of contracting osteoporosis. Such exercises increase mechanical stress on bones and joints and often take many forms. Health professionals recommend taking a thirty-minute physical exercise session at least three times in a calendar week. However, care is necessary as excess physical activities lead to amenorrhea and affects bone health due to estrogen insufficiency (Agrawal and Gupta 165).
Avoiding smoking and alcohol intake
Major health problems in the contemporary world result from lifestyle and behavioral traits among individual persons. Smoking increases the amount of toxic intake into the bones and improves the chances of contracting osteoporosis. Notably, alcohol at a higher intake level also increases risk of osteoporosis. Alcohol and smoking decreases bone mass and jeopardizes bone metabolism systems. Likewise, they affect renal excretion of calcium, further compromising the body’s ability to develop bones. Alcohol increases risks of fall. Such situations lead to high risk of bone fractures and other strenuous injuries on the bone systems. Avoiding alcohol and quitting smoking helps reduce such risks, thus improving bone development systems in the body (Agrawal and Gupta 166).
Treatment and management
Control, treatment, and management of osteoporosis revolves around calcium and vitamin D intake, increased frequency of regulated weight-bearing exercises, protection from falls, and consumptions of bone-friendly medicines. Antiresorptive agents such as estrogen, calcitonin, evista, and bisphosphatase reduce bone loss and increase bone micro-production. Anabolic agents in this medication help in the formation of new bones on the trabecular, endocortical and periosteal bones shells due to their abilities to reduce osteoclast activities in the body. As an anabolic agent, teriparatide works on patient with recurrent fractures. Notably, bones losses when such patients continue to use other preventive measures. However, it is recommended that all the treatment choices undertaken should involve complementary intake of calcium and vitamin D, improved health habits, regulated weight bearing exercises, and adequate measures to reduce falls (Agrawal and Gupta 167).
Osteoporosis causes serious consequences on physical, emotional, and financial status of victims and their relations. In order to prevent such problems and their related multiplier effects, early detection and treatment remains vital in the society. There is need for improvement in public awareness and capacity building on the condition. Similarly, nurses can use their access to the society for improved medical sensitization on the signs and symptoms of the disease as well as importance of frequent screening and early diagnosis. Equally, individuals need to improve their lifestyles by avoiding risk factors such as smoking and alcohol. These coupled with proper detection, diagnosis, and treatment will help reduce the number of osteoporosis cases reported every year.
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