The age-related change that I am most concerned about developing is osteoporosis. The bones in our bodies are living tissue, and there is an ongoing process of replacement and reabsorption. When this process is interrupted in a way that the new bone doesn’t keep up with removing the old bone, osteoporosis can happen. Studies tell us that men and women are affected, but Caucasian and Asian women who are post menopause are at a higher risk of developing this bone disease. It causes bones to be brittle and weak so that even a small fall will cause a fracture. In more serious cases, this breaking can sometimes occur by a cough, or in bending over the wrong way.
Osteoporosis is associated with repeated fractures, tender bones, neck and back pain, a decrease in height as well as poor posture. There is a variety of factors that contribute to the development of osteoporosis. These include a calcium deficiency, possibly due to a poor diet, aging and old age, the loss of estrogen that comes with the onset of menopause in women, as well as genetics. There are several other diseases that contribute to osteoporosis such as Cushing’s Disease and rheumatoid arthritis. There are 40 million Americans who struggle with this disease, men as well as women although women are more likely to develop it due to the loss of estrogen during and post-menopause. The estrogen loss is a major factor in bone formation. Other factors include family members who have had the disease, smoking, and being on certain medications such as prednisone.
There is no known treatment for fibromyalgia, but in realizing the susceptibility I have in developing osteoporosis because of it, I have started to take the steps necessary to avoid this from happening as much as possible. Thanks to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, I have been able to get insurance and I am now able to walk into a doctor’s office and tell them I have fibromyalgia. Prior to this time, it was considered a pre-existing condition and I was unable to get the proper treatment without going through the same testing that I have previously had.
As of today, I have been to see a new core of doctors, I have had a full panel of blood-work done and a bone density test. That is just the beginning. I have not received the results yet, but when I do I will begin the treatments and management of this condition in order to stave off, for as long as possible, the chance of developing this condition. The treatments that are recommended in an effort to reduce bone loss and encourage bone growth include weight-bearing exercise (such as walking), calcium replacement to promote bone health, and some medications to replace estrogen, prevent factures (such as calcitonin), stimulate bone formation (such as teriparatide) and bisphosphonates to slow bone loss.
I have a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis due to the fact that I am post-menopausal and I have had a chronic condition known as fibromyalgia for most of...