Osteoporosis Specialist Brisbane Northside
Ostepporosis is, unfortunately, a common condition for many people over the age of 50 residing in Brisbane. To manage this condition, it is recommended that you find a good local GP and maintain a good, long-term relationship with them.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis, which literally translates to porous (porosis) bone (osteo), is a disease that diminishes the quality and density of bones. As bones become more fragile, there is an increased risk of getting a fracture.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
As people age, the bone cells begin to dissolve the bone matrix and form deposit osteoid. As a result, osteoporosis takes place. The bone loss surpasses the growth of a new bone, which makes the existing bones become brittle. Osteoporosis usually does not have any underlying medical disease. The loss in bone density primarily comes with age.
Apart from aging, below are the factors that would increase the risk of osteoporosis:
- Being female
- Low Body Mass Index
- Family History
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of Vitamin D
- Alcohol intake
Apart from abovementioned factors, pre-existing conditions can also contribute in developing osteoporosis such as:
- Pre-mature menopause
- Kidney or Liver Disease
- Long-term steroid medications
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism
- Low Sex Hormones
- Cushing Syndrome
What are the Symptoms of Osteoporosis?
The loss of bone is usually silent but progressive. Osteoporosis has no symptoms until the first fracture takes place.
Below are the body signals to watch out for:
- Back pain
- Decrease in height over time
- Poor posture
- Frequent bone fractures
How is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?
The most common way to diagnose osteoporosis is a bone density test. This is a painless, non-invasive test where a patient will lie on a padded table as scanning is done on selected parts of the body. The machine for the bone density test makes use of low levels of x-rays to measure the proportion of mineral in the spine, hip, and wrist.
The bone density is measured using two scores in a report: the Z score and the T score. The Z score is compared with the bone density of individuals from the same age and sex. On the other hand, the T score is compared with the bone density of young adults from the same sex.
A T score of -2.5 or lower indicates osteoporosis and the more negative the T score is, the more severe is the osteoporosis. For the Z score, anything lower than -2 is something that should be checked by the general physician (GP) as there may be a latent cause.
How Can Osteoporosis Be Treated?
The treatment for osteoporosis is dependent on the risk of having a fracture in the next 10 years based on the results of the bone density test. If the risk of having a fracture is not high, medication and modification of the risk factors will be done. The medications usually given are bisphosphonates. Hormone-related therapy, especially for women, would also be recommended to increase estrogen and help maintain bone density. There are also injections that can be given to increase bone density and prevent fractures. Lifestyle change is also encouraged.