Osteoporosis is an extremely common problem, currently affecting over half the population in Malaysia. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture.
Osteoporosis is a potential health risk for those in the geriatric age group, as they often suffer with ongoing health issues.Hip fractures are one of the more serious consequences of osteoporosis, however other complications can include chronic pain, disability and diminished quality of life.
Although more common in women, the disease also affects men, and can arise at any age if due to a secondary cause such as chronic medical problems or prolonged use of certain medications such as steroids. White and Asian women – especially those who are past menopause – are at highest risk.
Osteoporosis risks can be reduced and in some cases even reversed with certain lifestyle changes, weight bearing exercise and sometimes medication. If you already have osteoporosis, it is extremely important to monitor your bone density regularly and prevent further bone loss. Fall prevention is also extremely important. The correct type of exercise will improve muscle strength, proprioception and balance and help prevent falls. Exercise with its anabolic effect, may at the same time stop or reverse osteoporosis.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis:
You might not even realize you have osteoporosis until you have a fracture or an obvious change in posture. In fact, you could have significant bone loss without even knowing it. Back pain, caused by changes in the vertebrae, may be the first sign that something is wrong. This condition has a strong family history, so if there is a family member with osteoporosis, it is best to have your bone density checked out. This is done by means of an inexpensive, painless DEXA scan, which will measure the density of your bones.