Know The Facts And Ways To Prevent Debilitating Bone Diseases
Bone is essential to give a definite structure to our body. Bone diseases often go unnoticed until a person suffers a fracture and bone loss. Hence it is necessary to be aware of debilitating bone conditions and watch for their signs. Read further to learn more about each debilitating bone disease.
Top 5 Types Of Bone Conditions
Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone disease characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissues, resulting in a high risk of fractures. It leads to an overall loss of bone strength and makes the bone weaker. Hence, even a slight bump or fall can lead to a broken bone. Osteoporosis shows almost zero signs and symptoms until a fracture happens. This is why we refer to it as a silent disorder.
Osteoporosis affects all bones in the body; however, fractures are more likely to occur in the spine, wrist, and hip. Fractures of the pelvic region, upper arm, and lower leg are also pretty common. Osteoporosis as a condition is not painful, but broken bones can lead to severe pain, significant distress, disability, and even death. Death is more common among people who suffer hip and spine fractures. Approximately 20% of people who suffer a hip fracture die within six months.
Osteomalacia is a condition that affects the skeleton. It's often caused by a deficiency of vitamin D. It most commonly affects the elderly and people from some parts of Asia. Our body requires sufficient calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D to permit bone mineralisation. Osteomalacia will develop if the body doesn't have enough of these.
If you have osteomalacia, you are more likely to feel pain in the bones of the legs, groin, upper thighs, knees and feet. This pain subsides when you lie down or rest for a while. Sometimes even a minor knock on a bone will feel unusually painful. As the condition progresses, the person can experience pain everywhere, and simple movements can hurt.
Anyone who lacks vitamin D in their bodies is likely to develop osteomalacia. Though we can get vitamin D from foods, our body produces the maximum vitamin D. When you expose your skin to sunlight, cholesterol converts into vitamin D.
3. Paget's Disease
Paget's disease is a rare, chronic type of bone disease where bone rebuilds itself faster. The rebuilding process of the bone usually slows down with age. However, in Paget's disease, rapid bone rebuilding causes the bones to become too soft and large. This bone-weakening disease usually affects older people. Bones in the pelvis, spine, hips, thighs, head, and arms are commonly affected.
A possible gene activation due to exposure to a virus might cause Paget's disease. Men are more likely to get Paget's disease than women. This condition is more common among Europeans. Pain in the bones and joints, headaches, hearing loss, large bones, bent arms or legs, brittle bones, tingling and numbness are some of the notable symptoms of Paget's disease. People with Paget's disease may be more prone to arthritis, hearing problems, pain and general discomfort.
Consulting a rheumatologist or bone specialist early on can give access to accurate diagnosis and treatment. Starting treatment promptly can help manage this debilitating bone disease effectively, prevent complications and improve quality of life.
Scoliosis is a three-dimensional defect of the spine and the rib cage. It may develop as a single curve resembling the letter C or two curves similar to the S shape. Scoliosis may arise in the upper back or lower back but most commonly develops in the area between the upper and lower back.
The exact cause of scoliosis remains unknown in 80% of the cases. They are called idiopathic scoliosis and are mostly caused by genetics. However, the genes that trigger this debilitating bone disease are not yet identified.
5. Bone Cancer
Bone cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from the cells of the bone. Primary bone cancer is rare. Bone cancer is a rare type of tumour that begins when cells in the bone start to grow and divide out of control. There are three major types of bone cancer,
- Osteosarcoma is cancer developing in the new tissues of growing bones.
- Chondrosarcoma is a tumour that arises in the cartilage of the bones.
- Ewing's sarcoma may develop in the nerve tissues of bone marrow.
Osteosarcoma is the most common cancer among these types, occurring most frequently during adolescence. The three primary treatment options for bone cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. These treatments are indicated either alone or in combination. Your oncologist will choose the appropriate treatment based on your cancer type, stage, location, speed of tumour growth, age, and overall health.
Ways To Prevent Debilitating Bone Disease
A diet regimen rich in calcium and vitamin D is essential to maintain strong bones. Go outdoors whenever possible to expose your body to sunlight. Sunlight is the best way to get a maximum supply of Vitamin D. This is why we call vitamin D the sunlight vitamin. Exercises like brisk walking, jogging, tennis, etc., can help prevent bone-weakening diseases to a great extent. Doing physical activity for even 15 minutes a day will be of great benefit.