What is Osteoporosis?

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World Osteoporosis Day 2023 was recently celebrated to promote awareness regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis.

About Osteoporosis

  • Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break.
  • It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (fracture).
  • Causes:
    • Osteoporosis happens as you get older and your bones lose their ability to regrow and reform themselves.
    • In osteoporosis, the body reabsorbs more bone tissue and produces less to replace it, lowering bone density.
  • Many other factors can also increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, including:
    • taking high-dose steroid tablets for more than 3 months
    • other medical conditions – such as inflammatory conditions, hormone-related conditions, or malabsorption problems
    • a family history of osteoporosis – particularly a hip fracture in a parent
    • long-term use of certain medicines that can affect bone strength or hormone levels
    • having a low body mass index (BMI)
    • heavy drinking and smoking
  • Symptoms:
    • There typically are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. ‘
    • But once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you might have signs and symptoms that include:
  • Back pain, caused by a broken or collapsed bone in the spine.
  • Loss of height over time.
  • A stooped posture.
  • A bone that breaks much more easily than expected.
  • Treatment: Treatment for osteoporosis may involve:
    • Making lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet and exercise routine
    • Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements
    • Using medicines to strengthen bones

World Osteoporosis Day

  • It is observed annually on October 20th.
  • This day is marked to promote and highlight the importance of early diagnosis of osteoporosis, its treatment, and preventive tips.
  • It is organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), a non-governmental organization founded in 1998 and headquartered in Nyon, Switzerland.

Q1) What is body mass index (BMI)?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms (or pounds) divided by the square of height in meters (or feet). A high BMI can indicate high body fatness. BMI screens for weight categories that may lead to health problems, but it does not diagnose the body fatness or health of an individual.

Source: World Osteoporosis Day 2023: History, significance and theme