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Following on from our previous posts, today we are going to discuss the subject In of osteoporosis in men in the UK; please contact us if any of the issues raised in the article affect you directly and you want to share your experiences. Overview As a reminder, osteoporosis is a condition which affects the bones, making them weak and thin and thus susceptible to breaking very easily. This can lead to fractures of the bones. There are no warning signs with osteoporosis, which means it often goes undiagnosed. It is normally picked up when the patient has a fracture, typically of the hips, spine or wrists. Osteoporosis affects in 1 in 5 men in the UK, and it usually increases exponentially. In general, men have poorer outcomes from fractures of the hip and spine and other major fractures. Men also have greater mortality associated with major fractures. Diagnosis Very few men are diagnosed and treated for osteoporosis; only about 5% of men are treated correctly after osteoporosis fracture compared to 50% for women. Causes for Osteoporosis in Men In around 50% of cases of osteoporosis in men, the causes are unknown. This means that for many men osteoporosis remains under-reported and under-diagnosed. Risk factors The main risk factor affecting whether or not a man will contract osteoporosis are hereditary - contributing up to 80% of the risk. Men with a close family history of osteoporosis will generally have a lower than expected bone mineral density and thus have an increased risk of fractures. Other major causes of osteoporosis in men are low levels of testosterone (hypogonadism) and taking corticosteroid tablets, for conditions such as asthma. To ensure good healthy bones, men need both testosterone and estrogen; the testosterone is converted into estrogen which is used to preserve the bones. Hence if there is a testosterone deficiency, this could result in a lack of good healthy bones because not enough estrogen is being produced. Alcohol abuse also accounts for a significant number of cases of osteoporosis in men. Men who drink excessive amounts of alcohol in their younger years run the risk of developing osteoporosis in later life. In addition smoking and inactive sedentary lifestyle are also contributory factors for developing osteoporosis. Other Conditions There are other conditions that can affect the onset of osteoporosis. These other conditions include secondary hyperparathyroidism (excessive levels of parathyroid hormone), hyperthyroidism (caused by an over-active thyroid gland) and medical conditions which affect the absorption of nutrients from food, such as coeliac disease or Crohn's disease, can also result in osteoporosis. Reducing the Risks If you can reduce alcohol intake and lead a more active and healthy life, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. If you have any of these conditions you should discuss your risk of osteoporosis with your doctor. You may also want to discuss your experiences in our forum. If you would like to contact Dr Mahmud, please use the contact form below; he will be able to give general good practice guidelines but cannot diagnose your condition, for this you should always consult your local GP. Related Articles - Arthritis, osteoporosis, Email this Article to a Friend! Receive Articles like this one direct to your email box!Subscribe for free today!
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