What is it
Osteoporosis is characterised by a weakening of bones such that patients are at an increased risk of fractures (breaking a bone)
Who it affects
Osteoporosis is a common disorder affecting 10 % of the general population. It is more common in woman, Caucasians and Asians. Other risk factors include smoking, alcohol excess and steroid use. Certain endocrine disorders such as hypogonadism (male/female hormone deficiency), hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Cushing`s syndrome may be associated with osteoporosis.
What gland is involved
Osteoporosis is a disorder of bones. Its cause however, may arise in a number of glands as detailed above.
Patient with osteoporosis may have no symptoms. A fracture or broken bone as a result of osteoporosis will cause pain and affect mobility.
Osteoporosis is diagnosed using imaging techniques; commonly a bone mineral density scan. Investigating the cause of osteoporosis is dependent on what medical conditions are suspected, but may include blood tests, urine tests, or various scans.
Patients with osteoporosis should avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake. Exercise is beneficial for bone strength, but needs to be tailored individually. Patients should always take adequate precautions to avoid injuries that may result in fractures.
Specific treatments you may be prescribed for osteoporosis may include vitamin D supplements, bisphosphonates, Strontium Renalate, Teriparatide, Denosumab, etc. Additional endocrine treatments may include replacement hormones for deficiencies, e.g. HRT in premature ovarian failure.
The outlook of osteoporosis is dependent on the cause and degree of osteoporosis. For example, mild osteoporosis with a treatable cause, will respond better. Newer drugs in the treatment of osteoporosis are continually being developed.
A priority for patients with osteoporosis should be to maintain a good quality of life. To achieve this it is important to avoid fractures and therefore to develop safe practises when mobilising.