Osteoporosis is the reduced bone mass per unit bone volume. This leads to reduced strength and increased risk of fracture often with even a minor trauma. The bone mass decreases with increasing age and osteoporosis is common in post-menopausal women as oestrogen prevents bone resorption. This group is more prone to fractures specially colles, neck of the femur, and vertebral sites. As people are living longer and more sedentary lives, incidence of osteoporosis is expected to continue rising.
Risk factors of osteoporosis
- Small stature
- Thin physic
- Family history
- Premature menopause
- Advanced age
- Primary hypogonadism
- Primary hypoparathyrodism
- Dietary deficiency of calcium
- Prolonged immobilization
- Cigarette smoking
- Alcohol abuse
- Aluminium antacids
- Surgical menopause
- Prolonged secondary amenorrhea
- Chronic renal failure
- Chronic steroid therapy
Symptoms of osteoporosis
Symptoms of osteoporosis mainly include
- Joints pain
- Muscle pain
- Bones become prone to fractures
- Back pain
- Curved back bone
Diagnosis of osteoporosis
History of fracture
Fracture associated with osteoporosis are – vertebral fractures, hip fractures, colle’s fracture of distal radius.
Of dorsolumber spine – prominence of vertical trabeculae, generalized loss of contrast between bone and soft tissue. Also at times vertebral biconcavity or investigation of the disk in to the vertebral spongiosa. Collapse of vertebrae and anterior weding of vertebral bodies may be asymptomatic.
Bone density measurements
Several techniques are available:
Dual energy X- ray absorptiometry (DXA) allows measurement of bones of clinical interest (i.e. lumber spine, proximal femur, distal radius and ulna and calcaneum).
Quantitative CT allows three- dimensional measurements of the BMD of lumber spine. It allows measurement of trabecular bone alone.
Quantitative ultrasound measurements are usually made on the calcaneum. The attenuation of the signal may reflect both the density and architecture of bone.
may be useful in unusual forms of osteoporosis. It provides information about rate of bone turnover and presence of secondary forms of osteoporosis. Patient with high bone turnover usually respond to antiresorptive drugs.
Exclude secondary osteoporosis
- Primary hyperthyroidism(serum calcium)
- Multiple myeloma(ESR, protein electrophoresis, urinary bence-jones protein)
- Osteomalacia(serum calcium, phosphate, alkaline phasphatase, 24 hours urinary calcium and creatinine)
- Malabsorption syndrome(full blood count)
- Hypogonadism in men(testosterone)
Treatment of osteoporosis
Treatment mainly depends upon medical condition of patient
Role of homeopathy in the treatment of osteoporosis – Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering.
The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat osteoporosis but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved medicines are available for osteoporosis treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensation and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies are given below for osteoporosis treatment:
Calcaria Phos – it is an excellent remedy for osteoporosis. Delicate and easily breakable bones. The bones of the head are deficient in quality and quantity. This will promote the absorption of calcium from the food that the patient takes. The bones of the neck are too small and weak to support the head which is normally large. The bones of the extremities are also weak and fragile. Stools green, undigested and offensive. No appetite, it is a bone builder and creates new blood cells. It gives general tone to the entire organism.
Calcaria Carb – remarkable medicine for osteoporosis. Promotes the absorption of calcium
Calcaria Iod – should be thought of when there is deficiency of muscles and fat in addition to deficiency of bones. Unhealthy condition of glands is always present when this remedy is indicated.
Allopathic treatment of osteoporosis
Mainly involve management with calcium, oestrogen therapy, biphosphonates, calcitonin etc.