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Essay Paper on Bone Loss Conditions, Prevention and Treatment

This essay will address several types of bone loss diseases and the pros and cons of treatment or prevention techniques. I will first explore what the characteristics of healthy bone are and what the loss of bone mass and density can mean to a person’s health and well being. My sources will be from the internet, magazines, medical journals, several books, and the1998 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. I have a personal interest in this subject because my paternal Grandmother and Grandfather suffered before they died with some of the debilitating symptoms of bone loss and weakening. This included spinal fractures and posture slumping. Some of the prevention methods I will mention are exercise, diet, and drugs. I will talk about the use of estrogen replacement therapy and vitamins in the prevention of osteoporosis and their possible benefits and side effects. I will discuss the difference between osteoporosis and osteoarthritis as well as touch on some conditions in which the pain can be mistaken for them. My experience with a friend who has been crippled with arthritis since she was a child will open some topics for discussion. She has suffered several severe broken bone situations as a direct or indirect result of her disease and or treatments. An interview with her will be an informative and interesting addition to my sources on this subject. What is bone and why is healthy bone essential to your health?

Bone is a type of skeletal tissue and contains living cells embedded in a hard matrix. This matrix consists mostly of calcium phosphate and other calcium minerals held together by collagen and other organic substances. Bone tissue renews itself throughout life, constantly tearing down and rebuilding its mineralized framework.

The balance between bone resorption and formation is regulated by the immune system and by hormones. The single most important function of bones is to support softer body tissues. The action of voluntary muscles on bones and joints produces locomotion in vertebrates. A second important function is the protection of softer structures, especially those of the nervous system. In my research process for this essay, I was enlightened to the fact that osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are not the same disease.

Osteoporosis is a condition of bone characterized by excessive porosity, or reduction of actual bone tissue. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is also called degenerative joint disease and involves the long-term destruction of cartilage in joints. It also involves the enlargement of the joint ends of bones.

The other thing that became apparent fairly soon in the process was that many of the same preventative measures and treatments can be considered for both conditions. With Osteoporosis, absorption of the old bone exceeds deposition of new bone. The result is an enlargement of normal spaces and a thinning of the bone from the inside. There may be no change in the outside dimensions, except in compression of weight-bearing bones. The most common type of osteoporosis (senile and postmenopausal, or primary) is found only in elderly persons and in women who have passed through menopause. It is characterized by compression of the vertebrae with resultant back pain and loss of height, back deformities (e.g., dowager’s hump), and by susceptibility to fractures. Often, there are no symptoms until a fracture occurs. The most common sites for fractures associated with osteoporosis are the hip, arm, and wrist. The hip is a common site of fractures in women with osteoporosis…

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