Skeletal System Disorder-Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a skeletal system disease where there is increased bone weakness leading to high susceptibility to fracture due to a reduction in bone density. Osteoporosis is common among the elderly and affects mainly the vertebrae in the spinal cord, the forearm and the hip bone and mainly occur in women after menopause due to lower levels of estrogen. According to Mäkitie (2013), osteoporosis is caused by an imbalance between old bone reabsorption and new bone formation. The body of the affected person may fail to form enough of the new bone or the old bone may be reabsorbed. The minerals essential for the formation of bones are calcium and phosphate. Osteoporosis occurs when calcium and phosphate are lost faster than the body can replace them. Therefore, the density of the bones is reduced, they become weak and break more easily (Mäkitie, 2013). There are usually no signs of osteoporosis until a fracture occurs.
The signs and symptoms of osteoporosis that can be felt after the bones are weakened and there is a fracture (Kyrgidis, Tzellos, Toulis & Antoniades, 2011). The symptoms include back pain as a result of a fractured vertebra, reduction in height over time, stooped posture due to bent bones and bone fractures that occur more easily than expected. Kyrgidis, Tzellos, Toulis, & Antoniades (2011) point out that if not treated, osteoporosis can lead to gradual thinning of the bones and density loss over time and hence causing the bones to become frail. Osteoporotic patients frequently experience pain and fractures. These fractures are commonly evidenced by the curvature of the spinal bones in the patient.
Pacou et al. (2010) assert that many adults over the age of 50 are at risk of breaking a bone. Though both men and women are at risk, women are more exposed to the disease than the men due to a dramatic decrease in estrogen. The risk for the disease also increases with old age as bone microstructure becomes thinner and more fragile with aging. Risk also varies with ethnicity as whites are more exposed to the disease than blacks. Others who are likely to get affected by osteoporosis include thin body frame, family history of osteoporosis, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, a diet low in calcium, chronic inflammation due to arthritis, low testosterone in men and history of fracture as an adult.
Bolland, Grey, Gamble & Reid (2010) illustrate that various medications have been proposed for osteoporosis. To determine an effective treatment it is important for the physician to know the medical history of a patient and how severe the disease is. In patients with severe osteoporosis, antiresorptive medications are recommended. The most effective medication for the treatment of osteoporosis is bisphosphonate medication which helps to treat osteoporosis by inhibiting osteoclast activity and hence allow osteoblasts to catch up. Although most medications suggested increasing the risk for osteoporosis, Calcitonin is also recommended. Calcitonin is mainly reserved for patients who have reactions towards other drugs. For patients who the disease is not yet severe in them, Raloxifene medication is advised. Other medications associated with Osteoporosis, though not effective as they may increase they increase the risk of the disease, are steroid induced osteoporosis which arises due to glucocorticoids. Patients may use these medications to treat disorders such as autoimmune disorders, acute and chronic pain, inflammatory problems, respiratory diseases, cancer, and others. L-Thyroxine which helps in subclinical hypothyroidism. Osteoporosis is preventable. To prevent osteoporosis individuals are advised to take foods high in calcium and vitamin D, do more weight bearing exercises, reduce alcohol intake, avoid smoking tobacco and eat a gluten-free diet (Kling, Clarke & Sandhu, 2014).
Alendronate (Fosamax) is a bisphosphonate antiresorptive medication which helps in the treatment of osteoporosis. Alendronate prevents osteoclasts mediated resorption of the bone and hence osteoblasts catch up (Finkelstein, Wyland, Lee & Neer, 2010). For this drug to work optimally, calcium and vitamin D are needed to enhance normal bone formation. Alendronate is taken orally to prevent other side effects, it has been proven to increase bone density and reduce fractures that are in the spinal cord, the forearm and the hip bone. Fosamax treats osteoporosis that is brought about by menopause. Alendronate is the drug that is believed to treat osteoporosis in men by increasing the bone density. Alendronate binds Guanosine Triphosphate (GTP) which are binding proteins to enzyme substrate structure of active sites and its chemical characteristics and are of specific for binding of a particular substrate and hence interfering with osteoclasts survival. Alendronate also helps in bone formation and osteoblast differentiation through interferon signal transducer and activator of the transcription and hence hindering the expression of certain genes.
Weaver et al. (2016) highlight that calcium and vitamin D can be used to prevent or reverse osteoporosis. Therefore, coming up with a drug with a content of vitamin D that helps in absorption of calcium thus increasing bone mineral density. As a result, the new drug would treat osteoporosis by decreasing osteoclast activity and bone resorption. Calcium and vitamin D enhance normal bone functioning thus preventing or reversing osteoporosis. It is worth noting that the vitamin D hormone, 1,25(OH)2D3, which is present in the new drug controls remodeling by inducing receptor activator of NF-?? ligand, regulating phosphate homeostasis which in turn influence energy metabolism through osteocalcin stimulation. Once applied on the skin, the drug will inhibit osteoclast survival by binding proteins to enzyme substrate structure of active sites. Kruger et al. (2017) cite that calcium and vitamin D bone turnover and improves bone density in postmenopausal women over 1year. The purpose of the new drug is to ensure the body continues to function, grow and develop normally hence strengthening and building bones. The drug should be developed such that it can either work alone or along with other treatments but a healthy diet and lifestyle would still be highly recommended. The anti-acid content of the drug is meant in regulating stomach acids but it should be noted that Antacids containing aluminum or calcium should be regulated since low acidity will not allow calcium to be absorbed hence causing osteoporosis (Kruger et al., 2017). This drug is particularly important because it will assist patients who have side effects with oral bisphosphonates or gastrointestinal contradictions and malabsorption.