Friday, February 23, 2007


Osteoporosis – The diminishing Bones

The very fact that one out of every three women and one of every twelve men are prone to this disease, illustrates how wide spread and serious osteoporosis is. In fact osteoporosis is not an illness it is just a mal-adjustment of two body functions, creation and absorption (resorption to be precise) of bone mass. It may look strange that destruction (resorption) of the bones is also is a normal function of the body. But to restrict the shape of the bones in correct shape and size absorption of bones is as essential a role as the creation of the bones.

This process of absorption turns a villain when it turns over smart and over acts its assigned duties. There are two types of cells engaged in the creation and “destruction” of the bones. The formation of the bones is the duty of the “osteoblast” cells where as the “osteoclast” cells are engaged in the resorption (re absorbing to the body) or rather as we called the destruction of the bones.

All set in the genes

Our body is so designed that in the beginning the osteoblast cells are smarter and the form bones for the growth of the body, as the person reaches middle age the clast and blast rivals are generally almost equal in smartness (in normal cases both should be equal in speed). With advancing age the quantity of sex-hormones diminishes in human body this is the main reasons of middle aged people getting affected by it. Especially women after menopause.

Construction and destruction

For the misfortune of the mankind at times they (the blast and the clast) are not equal in every individuals, the clast gains upper hand (it absorbs the non-collagenous proteins of the bones) due to various reasons and as a result the bone mass of the person starts depletion. This mal-function generally goes un-noticed and gets noticed only when the person has a fall from only standing heights and approaches a doctor with a fracture.


Duel-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, formally called DEXA). The bone mineral density is measured and compared with the gold standard and expressed T-score. T-score-.1 or above is normal, where as that of -1 to -2.5 considered low bone-mass and -2.5 is diagnosed as a case of osteoporosis.


Power of the body to absorb calcium and vitamin-d from normal food being cited as a reason it would be better for middle aged persons to supplement their food with these contents. It is the genetic reason which is cited as the main culprit. Smoking and consumption of soft drinks even though not directly responsible are accused as reasons which speed up the ailment.

Life style

Smoking affects the physiological activities and secretions of hormones like testosterones in males and estrogen in females. Soft drinks are said to replace the vitamin-d and calcium (both essential for bone formation). Lead and cadmium which enter the body by contaminated food and water are also considered to be causative factors for osteoporosis. Sedentary life styles over exertions and every thing related with modern life are blamed. If that is so let us think what can be done to get some relief from this malady.

Waiting for a fall!!!

First stopping of smoking and consumption of soft drinks seems an easier steps, supplementing food with some calcium and vitamin-d contents (para-calcitrol etc) also is not a very difficult proposition. The stopping of sedentary life style is a bit tall order for the couch-potatoes! The genetic factors are something unavoidable, but there is some relief as only precursors are inherited so that proper care and good life style can keep the disease at bay for almost as long as one wish. Just do not wait for a fall and fracture of the bones to see a good physician.

Be a good boy!

If you have a family history of osteoporosis and 30 years of age just consult a doctor before a fall and act (live) as per his directions (life styles, food habits postures everything).

Don’t worry be merry!

Do not bother much if devoid of such problems and live as leisurely as your peer groups. Needn’t worry even if you are born with a genetic history because you are not alone, just one among billions and with a slight change of lifestyle you can be much better off than them. Even if the worst happens there are surgeons and physicians to correct it. Act before a fall and be better off. Let osteoporosis go away! There are treatments to ward it off till your death, after that osteoporosis does not matter at all!

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