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Osteoporosis - Essay Example

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Such process continues until one reaches the age of 30 when the bone mass or density peaks. (Anderson)
However, when osteoporosis sets in, the normal replenishment of old bone tissue is substantially disrupted ("The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia"). Given this disorder, the calcium and protein from the bone are depleted. This results in abnormal bone quality or reduced bone density. As such, bones inflicted with osteoporosis can be severely fractured through cracking or collapsing with only a minor fall or injury that would not usually lead to a serious bone damage. ("MedicineNet")
One of the primary causes of osteoporosis is related to age. After age 30, the normal process of growth of new bone and absorption of existing bone by the body starts to reverse. Deemed as part of the aging process, bone dissolves and is absorbed at a faster rate that new bone is made, thus, bone becomes thinner. This condition is also aggravated by insufficient consumption of calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus. ("American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists")
Another cause of osteoporosis specifically in women is the decrease in the production of estrogen, a hormone considered to provide protection against bone loss. The increase in bone loss is said to occur around menopause ("American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists"). In the same way, men become more prone to suffer from osteoporosis when production of testosterone declines. With this, men aged above 65 typically experience osteoporosis.
Risk Factors
As mentioned, the probability of developing osteoporosis is augmented as one ages due to the thinning of the bones. Note that both men and women lose around 0.4% of bone per year on the average after reaching age 30 ("American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists"). However, osteoporosis does not usually have an effect on afflicted patients until they reach 60 years old ("WebMD").
In terms of gender, women generally have relatively smaller frames and lighter bones as compared to men. As such, women are said to be almost four times more likely to contract osteoporosis that men (Anderson). The reduction in estrogen and testosterone also increases the risk of osteoporosis in both women and men, respectively. The decrease in the production of these hormones that help maintain normal levels of calcium and other minerals required for normal bone regeneration, usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. ("American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists")
Other risk factors identified include smoking and alcohol use. Based on studies, smokers are observed to lose bone thickness faster than non-smokers. Meanwhile, excessive consumption of alcohol is said to cause bone growth reduction and increased risk of falling. It should be highlighted though that studies also show a correlation between moderate alcohol use and higher bone thickness. With this, most doctors prescribe limiting but not completely eliminating alcohol consumption. ("WebMD")
Moreover, sedentary lifestyle or lack in weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, stair climbing and dancing among others increase the risk of bone-mass loss ("The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia"). In line with this, a diet consisting of protein and ...Show more


Osteoporosis is one of the leading ailments that plague the aging population, although it can occur to anyone regardless of age. In this regard, it is vital to know more about this condition so as to effectively promote its prevention and treatment. This paper intends to provide an overview about osteoporosis through the discussion of risk factors, causes, symptoms as well as treatment and preventive measures that could be undertaken.
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Osteoporosis essay example
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