Men and women suffer from osteoporosis. It can be prevented and treated, but it is often called the silent disease because bone loss occurs without symptoms. You may not know you have osteoporosis till your bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump or fall causes a fracture or a vertebra to collapse.
Early diagnosis is the key to prevent osteoporosis. Unfortunately, people believe they need not worry about osteoporosis until they are old. Many people in their early forty's and less are now victims of this debilitating disease.
The national osteoporosis foundation of USA estimates that by 2035, countries like India and China will have the largest osteoporosis population in the world. One out of every two women and one in eight men over the age of fifty will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime.
The older you are, the more you are at risk of developing osteoporosis, as your bones become weaker and less dense as you age. Family history can also play an influential part in developing osteoporosis. Susceptibility to fracture may be, in part, hereditary. People whose parents have a history of fractures also seem to have reduced bone mass and may be at risk for fractures. Small, thin-boned women are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis. Your chances of developing osteoporosis are greater if you are a woman. Women have less bone tissue and lose bone more rapidly than men because of the changes involved in menopause. Asian women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis as compared to African, American Russian and Latino women.
The DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry) Bone Densitometry Scan in considered the gold standard in accurate and reliable diagnosis of osteoporosis. A fast simple examination, it is non-invasive, has minimal radiation exposure, high reproducibility and can measure bone mineral density at multiple sites.
The results of the DEXA bone density scan can:
a. Detect low bone density before a fracture occurs.
b. Confirm an osteoporosis diagnosis if you already have a fracture.
c. Predict your chances of fracturing in the future.
d. Determine your rate of bone loss and or monitor the effects of treatment if the test is conducted at intervals of a year or more.
Other methods of detecting osteoporosis include:
The Quantitative Computer Tomography, QCT, The Quantitative Ultra Sonography, QUS,. The QCT cannot take measurements of the hip. It has a high radiation doze and is costly. The QUS is inexpensive, radiation free and a very quick way to measure bone mass density. But due to poor precision, it must be complimented with DEXA scan before commencing on any long term treatment.
Detecting osteoporosis through X-rays is usually a subjective assessment, and the diagnosis cannot always be relied upon.
Camili Smith is a Medical Student and a freelancer who is specialized in writing. He is associated with many Pharmacies for whom he writes articles based on generic drugs and general health related issues. For more: [http://www.ihealthrx.net/]