Healthy Living

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis?

Key Takeaways

  • Sex: Statistics indicate that females have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than their male counterparts.
  • Age: Older people are more likely to get osteoporosis than the youth.
  • Race: You're at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you're White or of Asian descent.
  • Your family history: If your parents have a history of bone fractures, you are also likely to develop osteoporosis at a point in your life. However, other factors such as age, race, sex, and body frame size also play a vital role.
  • Body frame size: People with small body frames have a higher risk of getting osteoporosis because of reduced bone mass to draw from as they age.

If you have risk factors for osteoporosis – postmenopausal women with vitamin D deficiency – do not wait until the symptoms are out to get screened. According to statistics, a major contributor for osteoporosis doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms. By the time you have a bone fracture, feel intensive pain, and develop a spinal curvature, you may have already got osteoporosis.

Symptoms

Essentially, there are no clear signs of osteoporosis in the initial stages of bone loss. However, once the bones have been weakened as a result of osteoporosis, you may be exhibiting the following signs and symptoms:

  • Intense back pain that has been caused by a fractured/collapsed vertebra
  • Gradual loss of height
  • A relatively stooped posture
  • An abnormal bone fracture

When to Seek Medication

Biologically, those people who have experienced early menopause are at higher risk of getting osteoporosis. Therefore, it is advisable to see a doctor to avert the occurrence of osteoporosis. In addition, if you took corticosteroids for a long time or your family has a history of bone fracture, you are advised to see a doctor.

Causes of Osteoporosis

1. Weakened bone

Human bones are in a constant state of renewal whereby new ones are formed as the old bones are broken down. When you are growing; the body makes new bones at a faster rate than the rate at which the old ones are broken down. This results in an increased body mass. Remember, you are likely to achieve peak bone mass during your teens (20s). As you age, your body loses bone mass at a faster rate than it is created. The likelihood of developing osteoporosis is partly dependent on the amount of bone mass you attained during growth. The higher the peak bone mass, the greater bone you have "in store”. This means that the likelihood of developing osteoporosis as you age is reduced.

Risk factors

There are quite a number of fixed or modifiable factors that increase your chances of developing osteoporosis. They include age, race, lifestyle, as well as medical conditions and specific treatments.

Risks you cannot change

There are some risk factors that you cannot control. Statistics indicate that females have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than their male counterparts. Moreover, older people are more likely to get osteoporosis than the youth. You're also at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you're White or of Asian descent. If your parents have a history of bone fractures, you are also likely to develop osteoporosis at a point in your life. However, other factors such as age, race, sex, and body frame size play a vital role. People with small body frames have a higher risk of getting osteoporosis because of reduced bone mass to draw from as they age.

Medical conditions such as celiac disease, IBS, kidney/liver diseases, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple myeloma can also lead to osteoporosis.

2. Hormone levels

Too much or too low sex hormones, thyroid problems, and other gland levels can trigger the occurrence of osteoporosis.

3. Dietary factors 

Low calcium intake, certain eating disorders, and gastrointestinal surgery can double the chances of getting osteoporosis. 

4. Steroids

Osteoporosis has also been associated with steroid medications that prevent seizures, gastric reflux, transplant rejection, and cancer.

5. Other lifestyle choices

Certain lifestyle habits like excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use can increase the risk of getting osteoporosis.