Osteoporosis is sometimes described as "bone thinning". It’s a disease wherein the bone’s density and quality are severely reduced. As an individual’s bones become more permeable and fragile, the susceptibility to fracture is immensely increased. Bone loss occurs silently and progressively. Often, no signs or symptoms are visible until the first fracture manifests.
If your doctor’s diagnosis indicates that you’re suffering from osteoporosis or have a greater risk of breaking your bones, he/she will prescribe proper medications. These treatments will play a crucial role in managing your condition.
After an initial evaluation, it might be necessary to consult a medical specialist to establish the exact cause of an underlying illness that could contribute to the development of osteoporosis.
- Rheumatologists: They diagnose and treat illnesses affecting the muscles, tendons, bones, and joints, including collagen and arthritic diseases.
- Geriatricians: These are family doctors or internists who have undergone additional training for treating common diseases affecting the elderly people. Such disorders include dementia, incontinence, and falls. Geriatricians often provide primary care for those patients in hospital settings, nursing homes, or inpatient homes.
- Endocrinologists: They are medical experts specializing in the treatment of the endocrine system that consists of several glands and hormones responsible for regulating the body’s metabolic processes. Other than osteoporosis, endocrinologists also treat diabetes, pituitary gland diseases, as well as thyroid-related illnesses.
- Family doctors: These professionals have a wide range of training that incorporates gynecology, pediatrics, and internal medicine. They emphasize on the provision of long-term care for an individual or family.
- Gynecologists: They diagnose and treat detrimental disorders associated with the female reproductive system. Most often, they serve as dependable primary care practitioners for women and monitor their patient’s reproductive system over time.
- Physiatrists: These are doctors who deal in physical therapies and rehabilitation. They examine and treat patients with physical disabilities, impairments, or tragic pains arising from medical setbacks, including bone fractures. They also focus in reinstating the physiological, vocational, social, and physical functioning of the patient. Some medical institutions offer medical courses to doctors who are interested in knowing more about advanced bone density tests. Be sure to ask your doctor if he has undertaken such sophisticated training. Some endocrinologists, rheumatologists, and orthopedic surgeons can often treat metabolic bone diseases, since their main job entails studying the bone problem.
- Internists: They are highly trained in internal medicine and they are capable of diagnosing and treating numerous disorders. Internists offer a continuous comprehensive care in the office and hospital, exhibit desirable professionalism in diversified areas, and often serve as incredible consultants to other osteoporosis specialists.
- Orthopedic surgeons: They are dedicated to the treatment of muscle and bone related diseases. Some of them, however, focus on the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Human bones are living tissues that are constantly changing. From birth to adulthood, a person’s bones continually develops and strengthens. At the age of 20, the bones reach its peak bone mass. The following aspects contribute to the development of osteoporosis:
- Osteoporotic fractures
- Autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
- Visual and cognitive impairments
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Hematologic disorders
- Persistent immobilization
- Post-transplantation of special body organs
- Breast or prostate cancer
Remember, it’s always good to consult your doctor for a confident diagnosis. Treating the right disease is better than making assumptions. Even though you may be familiar with the possible triggers of your condition, it’s not safe prescribing medications for yourself.