Lastly, certain types of medications and other illnesses are also contributing factors to the development of osteoporosis among individuals. The use of anticonvulsant and steroids is reported to be one of the factors that increase the chance of developing this disease. Moreover, a person who is malnourished or has acquired anorexia nervosa or bulimia, has a higher chance of developing osteoporosis (Bupa’s Health Information Team, 2008). Symptoms During the early stage of osteoporosis, there may be no symptoms present and visible in the person. However, the person may feel pain in the bones and muscles, especially in the lower back and neck.
In the later course of osteoporosis, a person will experience a sharp pain that can last for months. His or her posture will be stooped-over as well; the back or spinal cord will no longer be straight and may develop a curve in the course of osteoporosis, causing the person to lose height. There is also a possibility that broken bones and fractures will occur most especially in the hip, spine, and the wrist (Smith, 2008). Gender Relationships Osteoporosis is found to be more prevalent in women than men. Approximately, one in two women has osteoporosis, and one in five men sustains fractures caused by osteoporosis.
The reason for this may be attributed to women’s lower bone mass, longer life span, and less calcium intake than men. They also need the hormone estrogen to keep their bones strong. If a woman is in the menopausal stage, the production of estrogen slows down, and this hormone is said to cause the bone to dissolve. Thus, women start to lose bones quickly, particularly in the first years after menopause stage. In the case of men, there is also a chance for them to develop osteoporosis later in life; that is, if they live long enough to experience it.
However, the loss of bone in men generally starts later than in women, and men do not experience rapid hormonal change than women do. For these reasons, osteoporosis occurs more frequently in women than in men (Bupa’s Health Information Team, 2008). Age Range As osteoporosis is common in women after the menopausal stage, it generally occurs when they reach the age of 50 to 59. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of this disease is estimated to get higher when a person gets older.
About 14% of the population with osteoporosis are between the age of 50 years old and above for both women and men regardless of ethnicity (Smith, 2008). Diagnostic Tests There are various types of tests to be bale to diagnose a person whether he or she has osteoporosis. A combination of complete medical history and physical examination is needed. Bone density test is one type of test that scans and measures how much bone a person has. This is the common test that is currently being used to diagnose osteoporosis.
This test is also used to monitor if the osteoporosis is responding to the treatment of a patient with osteoporosis. Another test that a person can have is called spine CT. This test can determine the loss bone and the bone’s mineral density. Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) also evaluates the bone density of a person, but it is said that this test is not that very common and may cost a lot compared to other types of test. Furthermore, there is also a bone densitometry test and is usually presented to women in the menopausal stage, and it is the same with the “dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).
” This is a type of x-ray and a quick and simple process and is said to give accurate results of diagnosing osteoporosis rather than taking the common x-ray. This test also measures the density of bones in the hips, spine, and wrist of a person that. Lastly, a urinary calcium test was developed to test and provide evidence of increased bone turnover in the person’s body. A lot of different types of tests were developed and are still being developed in order to diagnose and test whether a person has the risk of developing osteoporosis or is already suffering from it (Meunier, 1998).