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Osteoporosis - Essay Example

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The effects of aging on the musculoskeletal system: Osteoporosis Introduction Predictions and absolutes where aging is concerned are few and without much in the way of consistency. The only absolute is that every living being will age and that the way in which the aging occurs will be unique to the individual…
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Download file to see previous pages... One of the more common effects of aging is the deterioration of bone mass and density through the processes of osteoporosis. This is especially common in women due to factors that are hormonal, genetic, environmental and societal. Ethnicity is also a factor in the incidents of the condition, creating a diversity of information as the existence and progression can be identified through different forms of classifications (Murthy and Smith 2010: 223). As people age, the development of osteoporosis can create difficulties in terms of well-being and mobility that affect the quality of life. Aging and the Musculoskeletal System As age progresses, the musculoskeletal system will begin to change, with the deterioration resulting in aches, pains, and losses in function. Changes that occur to this system are some of the leading causes of disability in older humans (Carter 2008: 525). Older individuals have a different rate of absorption in the intestines than do younger people. The gastric parietal cell function will decrease, while the gastric ph increases, making gastric emptying a slower process (Rosen, Glowacki, and Bilezikian, 1999: 221). What this means for the body is that the rate of absorption of nutrients will shift, creating deficits in some areas while other areas will suffer from an increase that puts the body out of balance. This will, as an example, put the bones at risk from agents like glucocorticoids and anticonvulsants (Rosen, Glowacki, and Bilezikian, 1999: 221). Calcium deficiencies begin to occur as an individual ages. One of the problems with calcium is that as the intestines age, they are less capable of processing calcium into the system, no longer able to absorb the levels needed to maintain good bone health. Calcium is built up during youth, the stores created during younger years used as the body stops absorbing calcium at the rate that it once could. If there is not enough calcium in the system stored, bone health can become compromised as one ages (Carter 2008: 525). Bone Loss and Osteoporosis Bones are greatly affected by time. As time passes, the way in which the body processes different aspects of life will have an effect on the way it will function. The two most important factors in understanding bone health and age is through the peak bone mass and the rate of bone loss during older age. Peak bone mass is achieved by about the end of thirties, with bone loss beginning at about a rate of .07 – 1% per year after that time. One of the crucial differences between men and women is the loss of estrogens during menopause which increases the loss of bone mass to 2% to 3% during the time of menopause (Spirduso, Francis, and Macrae 2005: 68). As a result, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer from osteoporosis (Gueldner 2009: np). This means that the process of bone loss begins at the end of the thirties, becomes rapidly increased during the fifties, and then declines during the seventies. A second factor that affects this difference seen between men and women is that women begin with a lower bone mass than do men, thus they have less to lose from the onset (Cavanaugh and Blanchard-Fields 2011: 73). Osteoporosis occurs most often when low bone mass is present at the beginning of the period of life when bone mass loss will occur, which is one of the causes of women having a higher ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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In most cases, osteoporosis begins to develop early in life but is often diagnosed in old people especially women. Bone formation and firming up occurs before one reaches the age of 25 and requires large intake of calcium. After this age, people with reduced bone mass have the risk of developing Osteoporosis.
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