Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Common questions regarding osteoporosis (Brittle bone disease…)


What is osteoporosis?
Bone substance is lost faster than it can be replaced, resulting in brittle or weak bones that can fracture easily.

What causes osteoporosis?
Factors such as low Calcium, Vitamin D, deficient in certain sex hormones and consuming alcohol, smoking cigarettes , taking oral steroid medication may predispose one to osteoporosis

What are the differences between osteoporosis, rheumatism and arthritis?
Osteoporosis happens when the bone becomes brittle and may break easily
Rheumatism involve pain around the tendon or ligaments, e.g., tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis and carpal tunnel syndrome
Arthritis may affect both young and elderly. It happens when the joint tissue become inflamed or worn out. Types of arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and osteoarthritis

Why are female are at higher risk of osteoporosis?
Men have higher peak bone mass (PMB). Female undergo menopause during which rapid bone loss happens

Signs and symptoms of osteoporosis
Curving of the upper back, losing height, fracturing of bone after a minor fall, experiencing severe back pain just above and below waist during routine activities

How can osteoporosis be detected?
By measuring Bone Mineral Density (BMD) using a machine called Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) Machine to obtain a T- score. The T score helps to predict your chance of getting a fracture.
T score and meaning
BMD T score
Meaning
≥-1
 Normal
<-1 to >- 2.5
Low bone mass
≤- 2.5
Osteoporosis
≤-2.5 + fracture
Severe osteoporosis

Source:
Clinical Guidelines 2009, Osteoporosis Society (Singapore) by Ministry of Health