Osteoporosis is a bone disease condition, in which bones thin and lose density, strength and durability. Age, gender, and other comorbid conditions greatly affect the likelihood of osteoporosis, though it is estimated that 1 in 5 American women after 50 years old develop osteoporosis. As we age, our body tends to metabolize and absorb elements and nutrients differently. In osteoporosis it is noted that calcium and phosphate are reabsorbed into the body from the bone's store of these elements, thereby making the bone tissue weaker and thinner.
Often times, osteoporosis goes unnoticed and undiagnosed as it is a silent process, with its main symptom or presentation being a fracture in hips, pelvis, or vertebral. Numerous causes have been associated with osteoporosis including lack of estrogen or testosterone, steroid use, bed ridden or lack of mobility, vitamin d deficiency, and a hyperactive parathyroid. Bone mineral density scans, in addition to bloodwork, have become the diagnostic criteria for Osteoporosis and have become a part of the preventative health maintenance for women over 50 years old and males over 70. Medications to stop the loss of bone minerals and density are commonly used, as are the newer medications which promote bone regrowth. There has been a significant increase in our ability to prevent osteoporotic fractures using the medications at our disposal. However, there are challenges in the form of unexpected side effects from the use of these medications that have raised questions about the appropriateness of patient selection for treatments.