When it comes to bone health issues, osteoporosis is most likely the condition that comes to mind. However, there are many other serious bone issues that can develop in people, and unlike osteoporosis some of these conditions cannot be prevented or changed with lifestyle changes.
For this article, I wanted to briefly share some information about some bone conditions that many people may not be familiar with.
Osteomalacia – Osteomalacia is when a person’s bones soften due to a vitamin D deficiency. People often don’t experience any symptoms in the early stages of this condition, and it can take years to develop. As time goes on, a person will begin to feel achiness in his or her bones, especially in the lower back, legs, and hips. People who consume little vitamin D in their diets, have little exposure to sunlight, had a gastrectomy or surgery on the small intestine, have Celiac disease or liver or kidney disorders are at a higher risk for developing osteomalacia. To treat this condition, patients take vitamin D supplements.
Osteonecrosis – This is when death of a bone occurs due to a lack of blood supply. This most often occurs in the femur near the hip. Cause for this condition include: previous fractures, excessive alcohol consumption, steroid usage, and sickle cell disease. This condition is found most common in people ages 30 to 60. In the beginning stages of osteonecrosis, a person may be symptom free, but in time he or she will feel pain when weight is put on the affect area. Treatment options range from physical therapy and medication to surgery (core decompression, osteotomy, or bone grafting).
Osteogensis imperfecta – Osteogensis imperfecta is also known as brittle bone disease and is a genetic disorder. This condition makes the bones extremely fragile and cannot be cured. It can be mild or severe ranging from a few fractures in a lifetime to hundreds of fractures with no apparent cause. Many people with this condition also suffer from osteoporosis, chronic joint pain, asthma and other issues. When it comes to treatment, patients can go through many different options including bone-strengthening medications, physical therapy, casts, splints, bone surgery, and other medical procedures.
Other serious bone conditions include: Stress fractures, bone cancers, and Paget’s Disease.
Bone issues can be extremely serious, and it’s best you talk to your doctor about any pain in your bones that you have been experiencing. Even if you have no pain, you may want to start a conversation with your doctor if bone issues run in your family, if your current lifestyle habits could lead to a bone condition, or if you are older in age. Dr. Kordonowy of Internal Medicine, Lipid & Wellness of Fort Myers will be able to address any concerns you have regarding your bone health. To book an appointment, click here or call 239-362-3005, ext. 200.