Osteoporosis which is most common among women is now affecting men also
Usually, men don’t develop this is due to their long bones and high bone mass density in comparison to women. But, with the changing lifestyle, men are also being affected with this disease of weak and brittle bones.
Reason behind Osteoporosis
Since bones are always susceptible to changes, during childhood new bones are formed at a rate higher than old ones are removed this enabling a balanced growth and strength of bones. As a man ages, the rate of absorption of calcium decreases and the rate of removal of old tissues of bones is higher than that the formation of new ones.
Since men have more bone mass density and they don’t experience sudden hormonal changes, the development of osteoporosis is very gradual. But bad lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking makes their bone to become fragile and brittle sooner.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
The most dangerous part of osteoporosis is that it doesn’t have any signs, which is why this disease remains undiagnosed until the occurrence of an unexpected fracture.
Fractures due to osteoporosis occur mostly at hips, spine, and wrists. It may occur due to any major or minor accident like falling or merely picking up a heavy grocery bag. Fractures at old ages are more painful and fatal.
Types of Osteoporosis
There are mainly two types of osteoporosis, i.e., primary and secondary osteoporosis. Primary osteoporosis is more of an age-related issue leading to bone loss. The most common is the secondary osteoporosis which happens due to the lifestyle behavior of men, health disorders, and medications.
Causes of Secondary Osteoporosis
There are a lot of lifestyle causes for osteoporosis that is now a days common among men of any and all age group. Some of them are as follows:
- Medications like glucocorticoids: The use of steroid medications such as glucocorticoids for the treatment of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis affect the bone mass badly. They lower the bone mass density by reducing the body’s ability to absorb calcium from the digestive tract. This causes the bones to become weak and fragile. Other immunosuppressant also have similar effect on the bones making it brittle.
- Smoking: Men who smoke are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis since tobacco causes the ribs and hip bones fragile. The chemicals like tobacco, nicotine, etc. present in cigarettes damage the bone health by reducing the absorption capacity of minerals like and Vitamin D and make them weaker.
- Drinking alcohol: Alcohol consumption and low bone density among men are closely linked. Alcohol abuse causes the bones to become weak and more prone to fractures.
- Hypercalciuria: It is a condition which causes the excessive loss of calcium by urine. This occurs due to the lowered reabsorption of calcium from the uriniferous tubules (nephrons) leading to lack of calcium in blood if not compensated through diet.
- A sudden drop in testosterone hormone: The sudden lowering of sex hormones in men is a significant cause for the occurrence of osteoporosis. The levels of male sex hormone, the testosterone, lowers with increasing age but a sudden drop in this may decrease the bone mass density leading to frequent fractures. Also, men with estrogen disorders are also susceptible to osteoporosis.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Disorders in the digestive tract may impair the absorption of nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K that are intrinsically important for strong and healthy bones.
- Immobility: If you are not active enough or are under bed rest for a very long period of time some parts of your body may become dormant and undergo significant loss of bone mass. Get into the habit of walking, jogging, running, dancing or any weight-bearing exercises to encounter osteoporosis.
Diagnosis of Osteoporosis in Men
Usually, men don’t seek a doctor and get their tests done until they met with a fracture or back pain. It is crucial to look after the risk factors for early diagnosis of osteoporosis. If you are using glucocorticoids medications or having asthma or rheumatoid arthritis, smoke, drink or are getting old, you need to see the doctor as soon as possible. Men undergo an overall x-ray, blood and urine tests. And most importantly they undergo a bone mineral density (BMD) test for the diagnosis of osteoporosis.
Treatment of Osteoporosis in Men
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, then you need to monitor your lifestyle habits and control them. You will need to practice a balanced diet, routine exercises and certain guidelines for treating the brittle bones inside your body. If you undergo any glucocorticoid medication, the doctor may lower the dose or provide you with a substitute. If you are having problems with your testosterone levels, the doctor might suggest you testosterone replacement and medications.
Prevention of Osteoporosis
- Lower the dose of any glucocorticoid medications by discussing with your doctor.
- Exercise regularly and be active.
- Take a balanced diet including a right quantity of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin D, and K. Allow yourself adequate exposure to sunlight.
- Avoid smoking.
- Stay away from alcohol abuse.
- Do a health check-up once in 6 months or a year to be aware of any disorders in your body.