E-mail: mail@inthepagesofagoodbook.com by Helen Colwell

Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis

In the early stages of osteoporosis and/or bone loss, you may not experience any explicit osteoporosis symptoms at all. Although your bones are more porous and weaker than healthy bones, you won't feel anything different unless you experience a break or fracture. In later stages when your bones have been significantly weakened through bone loss or lack of minerals, you may start to notice signs of osteoporosis. These signs and symptoms of osteoporosis can include the following:

Back Pain

You may experience mild to severe pain in your lower back or spinal column as a result of either a fracture or collapsed vertebrae. The pain can be an acute sharpness or also a deep aching pain.

Fracture in the Bone

Bone fractures in the vertebra, wrist, hip, or other bone joint are the most tell tale sign of osteoporosis. Because there aren't usually other symptoms of low bone density, you may not notice any problem until an actual fracture occurs.

Loss of Height Over Time

When the consistency of bones weaken, they begin to lose density and compact together, which can result in a loss of height in your spinal column.

Stooped Posture

Low bone density and porosity can cause bones to compact unnaturally in the upper part of the spinal column. This results in the "hump" or stooped posture sometimes seen in osteoporosis patients.

Loss of Bone in the Jaw

Your dentist may be able to detect a certain amount of bone loss or bone density loss in your jaw if you have an X-ray performed. This can also be a sign of osteoporosis.

When to Make an Appointment with Your Doctor

Knowing how much at risk you are for osteoporosis is a key part of preventative care. Because the condition is generally asymptomatic in its early stages, the majority of patients are unaware of their bone condition until a more serious breakage or fracture occurs. Others are unaware of the presence of the condition until it moves into the more serious advanced stages of the disease. One of the misconceptions of this condition is that it only affects women in their old age. While risk factors are higher for women, it remains a commonly diagnosed condition in male patients as well. Anyone can be diagnosed with osteoporosis if they do not have enough bone density in their body. It's recommended by the National Foundation for Osteoporosis that you have your doctor give you a bone density test (test for osteoporosis) done if you meet a certain number of risk factors. You should consider getting your bone density tested if you are:

A female aged older than 65, no matter your other risk factors
A Male aged older than 70, no matter your other risk factors
A female in the postmenopausal stage with at least one other risk factor for osteoporosis
A male aged between 50 and 70 with at least one other risk factor for osteoporosis
A male or female over the age of 50 with a history of a broken bone(s)
A female who began menopause at an early age
A female in the postmenopausal stage who has recently ended a type of hormone therapy
A male or female who takes medications that are associated with osteoporosis or bone density loss
A male or female who is experiencing symptoms osteoporosis causes at any age with any number of risk factors
You have unnaturally low levels of calcium or vitamin D in your body
You have a family history of osteoporosis or low bone density
You experience a sudden and severe back pain or backache which may be caused by a compression factor