Osteoporosis is a syndrome that affects the density of bones, thereby making them brittle and prone to breakage. Osteoporosis can be caused by a number of different diseases and bodily changes. The most common reason for this syndrome is menopause, which explain why osteoporosis is far more common among elderly women than any other population group. Severe cases of osteoporosis are often caused by genetic defects.
In some extreme cases osteoporosis is life threatening, and limits those that suffer by it to a life in wheelchair. When the condition is this bad, spine disorders are common, as the bone of the spine is no longer able to withstand the weight of the torso and head. Primary osteoporosis is usually related only to increasing age and decreasing bone mass. As we age, many changes occur in our body, physically, not for the better.
Osteoporosis is a common side effect of severe eating disorders eg.anorexia, extreme and lengthy 'crash-dieting' attempts at weight loss, and weight-loss surgery. In these cases, the cause is an inadequate dietary intake of calcium and a deficit in basic nutrition over a long period of time.
Osteoporosis cannot be reversed, but once it is detected the progress of the disease can be slowed or halted by a very high intake of calcium and other minerals, such as Vitamin D. Daily proper dietary nutrition plays an important role. Keep in mind, caffeine can reduce calcium levels by causing diuresis. Excessive alcohol can decrease ostereoblast function.
About 44 millions Americans are threatened by osteoporosis. On top of that, it is reponsible for 1.5 millions fractures annually, concentrating directly on the vertebrae, hip, and wrist. About 50% of women and 25% of men are expected to have some kind of osteoporosis experience in their lifetime. So how much has it costed America to treat?? In 2001 alone, it was estimated at 17 billions was spent by hospitals and nursing homes indirectly. Fractures related to osteoporosis seem to be more common in Caucasians and Asians than other racial backgrounds. And if you are a woman, you are 4 times to be more at risk.