Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes the gradual thinning and weakening of bones, which makes patients fracture easily when they experience minor trauma. Osteoporosis is also called “porous bones” as it occurs due to the loss of bone mass faster than it is being renewed. The risk factors for osteoporosis include eating disorders, low calcium, and Vitamin D levels, body size, hormonal imbalances, excessive alcohol intake, gender (mainly women), and race.
To detect the condition early, look out for the symptoms discussed below:
1. Receding gums
The teeth connect to the jaw bone, and when there is bone loss in the jaw, the gums may recede. It can also occur in women due to lower bone mineral mass in the lumbar spine. It affects patients by causing bleeding when brushing or flossing their teeth, pain in the gums, and tooth loosening. It can eventually lead to tooth loss and gum disease.
2. Back pain caused by collapsed vertebra
Osteoporosis leads to weaker and more brittle bones, which can collapse when doing everyday activities, such as coughing or opening windows. This can cause a spinal fracture, which is incredibly painful and can permanently change the spinal shape and strength. Back pain gets worse when walking, standing, bending, or twisting the body. It can be chronic and make someone need medication permanently.
3. Loss of height
Spinal fractures cause bone compression, which then leads to loss of height. Also, painless and undetected vertebrae fractures cause height loss. This affects patients by causing stooped posture due to losing a few inches off their height. This condition is irreversible.
4. Stooped posture
Bone weakness collapses or breaks the bones, which causes hunched posture. When a person fractures, the thoracic spine rises, leading to hyperkyphosis, and the lumbar spine lowers due to hypolordosis. These two situations eventually result in a person’s shoulders, head, and upper back becoming positioned more forwardly, hence the crouched posture. It is also called kyphosis and occurs because of vertebral body microfracture. When it is severe, it will limit a person’s movements, lead to low back pain and hump formation. This can cause a person to be slumped forward, affecting their balance, confidence, and self-esteem. Also, it is an uncomfortable posture.
5. Fractures that occur easier than expected
Osteoporosis makes the bones more fragile, deteriorates bones, and causes reduced bone mass. This condition makes bones more likely to fracture. A patient can fracture easily when coughing, bending, sneezing, bumping into things, or a minor fall. Doctors call these fractures fragility or low trauma fractures.