Osteoporosis is a disease resulting from a loss of bone tissue and low bone mass. It is most commonly found among elderly women; however, it is possible for it to develop at a younger age. For that reason, it is important for everyone, regardless age or gender, to take steps to build strong bones.
Early detection of osteoporosis is rather difficult because no obvious clinical symptoms occur in the body. One of the most likely ways to detect osteoporosis in its early stages is if you experience a fracture or other bone injury. If low bone density is detected at that time, it is important to seek medical attention and have your bones checked for osteoporosis.
Since symptoms of osteoporosis are not detectable in the early stages, it is crucial for people over 65, especially women, to undergo a bone mineral density screening (BMD) to test for the condition. BMD is a painless procedure that measures bone density in particular areas of the body like the spine and hips. In addition to people who are over 65 years of age, those who should undergo such screening are postmenopausal women who experience a bone fracture and women who may have risk factors for osteoporosis, such as low body weight or family history.
One of the most common early symptoms of osteoporosis is a bone fracture. Anyone who experiences a fractured bone, especially in the wrists or hips, due to a mild to moderate trauma is typically diagnosed with bone loss or osteoporosis because their bones are weaker and not able to withstand normal levels of impact. Sometimes, fractures you incurred in the past can re-fracture later if you have osteoporosis. So, if you have fractured a bone at any point, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor and have your bone density checked.
Another common indication of osteoporosis is the state of your jaw. Your jaw is not as dense as the other bones in your body, and therefore, bone loss usually occurs there first. If you experience symptoms of teeth moving apart, severe gum disease, or difficulty in speaking and chewing, you may be experiencing decreased bone density.
Other early symptoms of osteoporosis include upper back curvature, loss of height, and pain. Upper back curvature is where your upper back slopes downward, creating a bent-over appearance. If you feel like you are shrinking in height in addition to that, your spine and bones may actually be shrinking. Last, but not least, severe back pain is a common symptom, and if you begin experiencing it, it could be an indication that you are developing osteoporosis.
Identifying these early symptoms early on will help you to begin treating your osteoporosis sooner. If you begin experiencing any of these signs, it is very important that you undergo a BMC screening because if you are, indeed, developing osteoporosis, you need to begin proper treatment immediately.
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