Diseases Diseases

About Bone Metabolic Diseases

Introduction

Metabolic bone diseases are an umbrella term which refers to abnormalities of the bones that can be caused by a broad spectrum of disorders. Most commonly, these metabolic bone diseases appear after the body encounters abnormalities in several chemical compound levels, such as minerals. The minerals whose abnormalities cause metabolic bone diseases are calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium or phosphorus. The upside is that these diseases can be easily treated by reverting the mineral’s levels in the human body to the normal values. The metabolic bone diseases are not always caused by these mineral abnormalities, but by certain cell types having a problem. Although there is currently no treatment for this genetic conditions, having a higher level of minerals can sometimes correct or improve the metabolic bone diseases.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease that increases the possibility of fracture. The disease’s main cause is mineral deficit that leads to bone mineral density to be reduced, the micro architecture inside the bone gets deteriorated, and thus the bone can easily be fractured. The main treatment for osteoporosis consists in administering several minerals to the patient such as calcium and vitamin D. This disease has no specific symptoms and thus cannot be spotted in its early age, but it is known worldwide that it affects especially the old people and the women past their 50s, appearing after menopause.

Paget’s disease of bone

Sir James Paget was a British surgeon and pathologist who discovered a metabolic bone disease. Nowadays that disease carries his name. Paget’s disease is a chronic condition that results in misshapen and, sometimes, enlarged bones. This disease rarely affects people under 40 years old and most commonly it targets women more than men. Paget’s disease is opposite to the osteoporosis because it only affects one or few bones, unlike the other one. The patients complain about bone pain, headache, back pain, “shooting pain” in the legs just like any ordinary arthritis. Sadly the scientists haven’t found a cure for this metabolic bone disease yet but the medications (especially if started before complications begin) are often successful in controlling the disorder. The best treatment for Paget’s disease though is a drug therapy (pain killers usually), diet and exercise (exercise is of essence because it prevents weight gain and it maintains skeletal health and joint mobility).

Rickets

Another metabolic bone disease, this time affecting children is the Rickets. It represents a softening of the bones due to the deficiency or impaired metabolism of several minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus or vitamin D. this deficiency or impaired metabolism can lead to fractures or deformity. The most common finality in children is represented by deformities. This illness appears especially in developing countries, due to bad nutrition, usually resulting from famine or starvation. This metabolic bone disease has several sign and symptoms such as bone pain, dental problems, growth disturbance, muscle weakness or increased tendency for fractures. The diagnosis process is made only in hospitals because it consists in bone biopsy, X-rays, blood tests and arterial blood gases. In developed countries it is a rare disease.

By Bob Meadow, published at 04/02/2012
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