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What is Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a progressive bone condition that is characterised by the decrease in bone mass and bone density, resulting in bones that are weak and brittle. This could result in a person being more prone to fractures or bone breakage. The World Health Organisation defines osteoporosis as a medical condition whereby bone mineral density is 2.5 standard deviations or more below the mean peak bone mass.

Osteoporosis occurs because the rate of bone loss exceeds the rate of bone replacement. Listed below are some of the risk factors.

  • Sex

    Females tend to have a higher tendency to develop osteoporosis, especially after menopause due to the decrease in production of oestrogen, a female sex hormone that is responsible for the protection of bones in females.
  • Race

    Research all over the world shows that Asians and Europeans have a higher tendency to develop osteoporosis.
  • Excess Alcohol Consumption

    A high consumption of alcohol results in increased risks of fractures developing.
  • Vitamin D Deficiency

    Vitamin D deficiency results in the increased production of PTH production which is responsible for bone resorption. This results in an increase in bone loss.
  • Malnutrition

    Essential vitamins such as vitamin A, K, E and C are important vitamins. Moreover, calcium, zinc and iron are essential in bone production. The lack of such crucial vitamins in the diet could result in the development of osteoporosis.
  • Exercise

    Endurance training that places high stress on the bone could result in the weakening of the bones, hence making it more susceptible to fractures.
  • Osteoporosis Screening

    Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is considered as the best method for the detection of osteoporosis. At our clinic we offer this cutting edge technology to accurately analyse and diagnose osteoporosis and the scan takes less than 15 minutes to perform. A person will be diagnosed with osteoporosis when the bone mineral density (BMD) is less than or equal to 2.5 standard deviations below that of a young and healthy 30-40 year old.

    Osteoporosis Treatment

    A healthcare professional would employ 2 methods in the treatment of osteoporosis.

  • Anti-Resorptive

    In this method, medication is prescribed that slows down the rate of bone resorption, which slows down the rate of bone loss. Such drugs include HRT, SERMs, bisphosphonates and calcitonin.
  • Anabolic

    The other method would employ the increase of bone production. Medication prescribed would increase the rate of bone formation and lower the risk of fracturing bones. Professional doctors could prescribe parathyroid hormone injections.
  • Preventing Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis is definitely a disease in which you can prevent it from developing. One needs just need to follow the guidelines given below to ensure strong, healthy and happy bones.

  • Take Sufficient Essential Vitamins

    Vitamin D and calcium is essential in bone formation. A recommended intake by the Singapore Health Promotion Board is 800mg/day. Foods rich in calcium include milk and cheese.
  • Regular Exercise

    An active lifestyle is the key to building stronger and healthier bones. You have only one set of bones to last you through your entire lifetime so start taking care of it now. Start exercising today.
  • Avoid Smoking and Excessive Consumption of Alcohol

    Cigarette smoke and the high consumption of alcohol leads to an increased rate of bone loss.
  • Reduce Caffeine Consumption

    Caffeine reduces calcium absorption rate in the human body. Hence, cut down on coffee, tea and even sweet carbonated drinks that contain caffeine.
  • Our Services

    There are more than 100 different types of rheumatic disorders. Our team works together to diagnose and treat the full spectrum of these disorders, including autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid osteoarthritis and psoriatic osteoarthritis, as well as other forms of osteoarthritis, such as osteoosteoarthritis, gout and osteoarthritis. Treatments for the various conditions may include lifestyle changes, medication and surgery. A/Prof Leong will tailor each treatment plan to effectively manage the condition in each patient.

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    About Our Arthritis Specialist

    A/Prof Leong Keng Hong is a senior consultant rheumatologist at Gleneagles Medical Centre and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore. He is the founder of the Osteoporosis Society (Singapore) (OSS), established in 1996, and served as its President until 2004. He also served as the Inaugural Chairman of the Chapter of Rheumatologists in the Academy of Medicine, Singapore from 2004-2007 and was delegated as Chairman until 2013.