Signs And Symptoms Of Osteoporosis Detection And Screening

The usual signs of osteoporosis are repeated fractures, often due to minor accidents. Diagnosing osteoporosis is done with a bone mineral density DEXA scan.

Osteoporosis occurs when minerals are lost from the bones. This reduction in bone mineral density (BMD) weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to fracture. The condition is most common in post-menopausal women, 40% of whom are likely to suffer an osteoporotic bone fracture at some time after the age of 50 years.

Signs of Osteoporosis

Osteoporotic fractures can occur following a relatively minor fall or other accident. Any bone can be affected, but breakages are most common in the vertebrae of the spine, the forearm and wrist, and the hip. A particular type of wrist fracture known as a Colles fracture is common in people with osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis does not cause pain in itself; however, back pain can become a problem for people who have suffered a fractured vertebra, especially if osteoarthritis develops at the site of the injury. Repeated vertebral fractures can cause deformities of the spine (formerly called a dowagers hump or hunchback), while compression of osteoporotic vertebrae may lead to loss of height.

Diagnosing Osteoporosis – Bone Mineral Density and DEXA

Osteoporosis is generally diagnosed only after an osteoporotic fracture has already occurred. The diagnosis is usually considered when a patient in a high-risk group (e.g. a post-menopausal woman) sees her doctor with a fracture at one of the typical sites.

The doctor may request blood tests to check the levels of substances involved in bone remodelling, and an X-ray to look for evidence of other fractures. A definite diagnosis of osteoporosis needs a measure of BMD, however, and this is provided by an examination called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA or DXA).

In DEXA, the patient is exposed to two doses of X-rays of different energies. The amount of energy absorbed as the X-rays pass through the body differs between the two doses and between soft tissues and bone, and this information is analysed by a computer to calculate the BMD of the bones of interest. This is expressed as a value called a T score, with cut-off points for normal bone, osteoporosis and osteopenia (a BMD intermediate between normal and osteoporosis).

DEXA is widely employed to measure BMD in adults, being inexpensive, easy to use and tested in many studies. Patients are exposed to radiation during the scan, but the dose is low (less than the amount of radiation people receive every day from natural sources). Overall, DEXA is considered a safe technique and the best way to diagnose osteoporosis and monitor its treatment.

Osteoporosis Screening

Although osteoporosis is usually diagnosed after a fracture has occurred, DEXA can be used to screen people in high-risk groups who do not yet show any signs of the condition. In the UK, routine screening of post-menopausal women is currently not recommended, though the situation is under review. The US Preventive Services Task Force suggests that all women over the age of 65 years (or over 60 years if they have risk factors for osteoporosis) should have a DEXA test, though how often the scan should be repeated is unclear.

If you suffer from Osteo, you may find relief from at at home pain relief kit. See www.sohealth.co.uk for the types of kits available.

When Food refuses to settle down

Acid reflux is a condition that is very common. But just because it is common does not mean that it is a comfortable condition. When digestion does not take place as it should the contents of your stomach will go back to the esophagus. These contents are highly acidic and are harmful.

Acid reflux is a fairly common condition that occurs when stomach acids and other stomach contents back up into the esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a muscular ring located in the digestive tract where the esophagus meets the stomach. The LES opens to allow food into the stomach when you swallow, and then closes to prevent stomach contents from rising up into the esophagus. When the LES is weak or damaged it may not close properly. This allows harmful stomach contents to back up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux symptoms.

Now whether the condition is harmless or not there are some instances that develop into something else serious like heartburns. People who suffer from heartburns usually have an awful time after meals. The condition ruins everything and can last for hours. When heartburns become constant it is now a disease.

Heartburn is a discomfort – happening in the esophagus and felt behind the breastbone area – that takes the form of a burning sensation; it generally gets worse when the person lies down or bends over. It can last for several hours and also tends to worsen after eating food.

The burning pain may move up toward the neck and throat; stomach fluid can reach the back of the throat in some cases, producing a bitter or sour taste.

If heartburn occurs regularly – two or more times a week – it is termed gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short. GERD can also have other symptoms, including:

  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Asthma and recurrent pneumonia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Throat problems – soreness, hoarseness, or laryngitis (voice box inflammation)
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Chest or upper abdominal pain
  • Dental erosion
  • Bad breath

Sourced from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146619.php#symptoms_acid_reflux

If the condition is not worse and manageable you can talk to a doctor who will then prescribe the appropriate medication. Some of the medication is inclusive of antacids, medication to allow low acid production, block acid production and heal the esophagus.

Over-the-counter treatments that may help control heartburn include:

  • Antacids that neutralize stomach acid.Antacids, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil, Gaviscon, Rolaids and Tums, may provide quick relief. But antacids alone won’t heal an inflamed esophagus damaged by stomach acid. Overuse of some antacids can cause side effects, such as diarrhea or constipation.
  • Medications to reduce acid production.Called H-2-receptor blockers, these medications include cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid AC), nizatidine (Axid AR) or ranitidine (Zantac). H-2-receptor blockers don’t act as quickly as antacids do, but they provide longer relief and may decrease acid production from the stomach for up to 12 hours. Stronger versions of these medications are available in prescription form.
  • Medications that block acid production and heal the esophagus.Proton pump inhibitors are stronger blockers of acid production than are H-2-receptor blockers and allow time for damaged esophageal tissue to heal. Over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors include lansoprazole (Prevacid 24 HR) and omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid OTC).

Contact your doctor if you need to take these medications for longer than two to three weeks or your symptoms are not relieved.

Sourced from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/basics/treatment/con-20025201