Everything you need to know about Osteoporosis

Everything you need to know about Osteoporosis

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become brittle and fragile, increasing the risk of fractures. The condition is often referred to as a "silent disease" because it develops gradually over time and usually does not cause any symptoms until a fracture occurs.

Bones are constantly undergoing a renewal process, where old bone is removed, and new bone is created. In people with osteoporosis, this process is disrupted, leading to a loss of bone density and an increased risk of fractures.

While osteoporosis can affect anyone, it is most common in older adults, particularly postmenopausal women. 

Risk factors for the condition include:

  • Having a family history of osteoporosis.
  • Being of small or thin build.
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Having a calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency

Symptoms of osteoporosis:

As mentioned earlier, osteoporosis is often referred to as a "silent disease" because it does not usually cause symptoms until a fracture occurs. However, there are some signs and symptoms that can indicate the presence of osteoporosis. 

These include:

  • Back pain, particularly in the lower back
  • Loss of height over time
  • A stooped posture
  • Bone fractures that occur quickly, such as a fracture from a minor fall

You must talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. They can perform a bone density test to determine if you have osteoporosis and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Genetic predisposition to osteoporosis:

While osteoporosis can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, inadequate calcium intake, and low levels of physical activity, genetics also play a role in the development of the condition.

Genetic mutations that have been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis include:

  • LRP5 mutations
  • WNT16 mutations
  • SOST mutations
  • Osteoprotegerin (OPG) mutations

These genetic mutations can affect how bones are formed and maintained, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.

If you have a family history of osteoporosis, it's important to talk to your doctor about genetics' role in your risk for the condition. They can order a genetic test to determine if you have any genetic mutations associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis.

How a genetic test can help:

If you're at risk for osteoporosis or have already been diagnosed, a genetic test can provide valuable information about your risk for the condition.

A genetic test can help determine if you have any genetic mutations associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. It can also tell you whether you are genetically predisposed to nutrient deficiencies that may impact your bone health. This information can help your doctor determine your best treatment plan and guide your lifestyle changes.

Back to blog

Recommend DNA Kits

1 of 3