Osteoporosis is a silent disease because it may not present any symptoms, expert warns

Osteoporosis is a silent disease because it may not present any symptoms, expert warns

The Department of Endocrinology, PGI, organizes from October 20, World Osteoporosis Day, a series of activities to promote public awareness of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease that develops when the bones weaken and this increases the risk of fractures due to minor trauma. Fractures can occur in any bone, but most often occur in the hip bones, the vertebrae of the spine, and the wrist.

“The intention is to spread awareness about the severity and prevalence of problems related to bone health and their comprehensive management. Within the next 20 years, everyone over the age of 70 will have osteoporosis, with risk factors in the Asia-Pacific region higher than in the Western world. Osteoporosis is a silent disease because it may not be present with symptoms and may not be apparent until one or more bones break”, explains Prof. Sanjay Bhadada, Head of the Department of Endocrinology, PGI.

Osteoporosis is the leading cause of fractures in postmenopausal women and older men.

In fact, one in three postmenopausal women and one in five men over the age of 50 are expected to experience a minor trauma fracture in their lifetime. Fractures are associated with increased chances of dying. The Department of Endocrinology, PGI, has been working actively in the field of osteoporosis.

For a year, the department has been operating an Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease (OPMBD) Clinic every first Tuesday of the month, especially dedicated to the care of patients with osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

“For more than a year, the department has also been operating an online Osteoporosis Registry of India (ORI) where we have so far been able to assimilate data from 130 osteoporosis patients. Furthermore, we, along with other stalwarts within the fields of osteoporosis, have put forward the many Indian guidelines for the management of osteoporosis in adults,” adds Professor Bhadada. So far, the department has data on 130 people with osteoporosis who visit the Endocrinology Clinic and most of the people are women (93%).

The average age is 63 years and 20% of people had suffered one or more fractures. Almost a quarter of the people had diabetes mellitus while 3% had celiac disease. 27% of people with osteoporosis had suffered one or more falls in the last year”, says Professor Bhadada.

According to Professor Bhadada, it is imperative that women over the age of 60 and men over the age of 65 be screened for osteoporosis, and those under the age of 50, who have a low BMI and are classified as having a factor of frailty, they must also opt for the exam.

“People with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, those taking steroids are also being tested, with new machines, scans to detect, diagnose and detect the progress of osteoporosis and new markers to give us a chance at better treatment. While in 70 to 80 percent of patients, the disease is silent, with symptoms including back pain, bone pain, and vague abdominal pain. Long-term use of antacids is risky,” says Professor Bhadada, who has published a booklet entitled ‘Osteoporosis-Karan and Nibaran’, which highlights the everyday aspects involved in the prevention and control of osteoporosis.

Department physicians emphasize that fall prevention is an important and indispensable component of long-term osteoporosis care, with non-pharmaceutical

extremely important prevention and management aspect. Vitamin D and calcium are the building blocks of bones, with vitamin D deficiency seen in 60 to 80 percent of people, and 800 mg of calcium per day is required for bone health.

“Our lifestyle has ensured that we have a longer life, but the need is to have a good quality of life and therefore we need to focus on prevention and management.” This year, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has proposed the Step Up for Bone Health blurb. The IOF proposes that, at any age, there are five steps to improve bone health that will reduce future risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

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