Osteoporosis Essay

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Osteoporosis
Our skeletal system is made up of the bones of the skeleton, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as the connective tissues that stabilize them. The system has several responsibilities including support for the entire body and storage of calcium, a vital mineral for bone growth (Martini ,170).   Bone production suffers as a result of not absorbing enough calcium from the diet (PubMed). As we age, our bone mass declines resulting in fragile, weak bones. The inadequate ossification, or osteopenia, occurs in all of us over the years, but when the reduction of bone mass begins to compromise the normal function of the skeletal system, it results in a condition called osteoporosis (Martini, 192).
Our bones are made up of specialized cells, which are responsible for the production and recycling of bone tissue. Osteoblasts are cells that are continually making new bone, while osteoclasts continually break down and remove bone matrix. There must be a well-maintained balance between these two cells to provide us with strong bones (Rutherford).   Over the years, osteoclast activity continues at the previous rate while osteoblast activity slowly declines, resulting in weaker bone structure and eventually osteoporosis (Martini, 192). Osteoporosis begins in the inner, spongy bone structure that is located where bones are usually not heavily stressed, and the epiphyses of long bones, vertebrae and jaw tend to lose mass at a faster rate than many other bones (Martini, 192). Fractures as a result of the progression of osteoporosis are most likely to occur in bones that are unable to withstand the impact of a fall such as the wrist, neck of the femur and lumbar vertebrae (Rutherford). These fractures occur from exposure to stresses that could easily be tolerated by younger individuals (Martini, 192). Osteoporotic fractures can occur before becoming aware that the disease is present and are often how the disease is initially discovered (PubMed)....

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