Osteoporosis is a very common bone disease that is caused by the loss of bone density. Osteoporosis means “porous bone”, and results in the bone becoming weak and brittle in some serious cases. The loss of bone density or mass causes the bone to have abnormal tissue structure. Studies have shown that up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Breaking bones is very serious as osteoporotic bone breaks are most likely to occur in the hip, spine, or wrist. It can also lead to some patients to lose height or cause a stooped or hunched posture. Osteoporosis may limit mobility in patients which often prompts isolation and depression. Although, osteoporosis is not considered a life-threatening disease, older patients who sustain a broken bone often suffer from long term complications related to it or require long term nursing home care. Symptoms of osteoporosis include:
Some risk factors for osteoporosis include women after menopause, men and women over the age of 50, higher body mass index or men and women with smaller body frames, family history of osteoporosis, white or Asian descent. Other factors such as diet, medication, lifestyle, and hormonal issues can also contribute to a higher risk of osteoporosis. Eating disorders and low calcium intake for a long time can diminish bone density in both men and women. Prescription medications for cancer, gastric reflux, seizures, and transplant rejection have also been associated with osteoporosis. People with celiac disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, kidney or liver issues, multiple myeloma, lupus, or rheumatoid disease are at a higher risk for osteoporosis. Excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and a sedentary lifestyle also have a higher risk of patients for osteoporosis. Hormonal imbalance is the other cause of this disease. Lowered sex hormone levels with aging cause weakened bones. In men, a gradual reduction in testosterone levels with aging is one of the most important cues that researchers picked up to treat osteoporosis.
Testosterone has a direct effect on bone health. Testosterone deficiency can be caused by age, prostate cancer treatment, glucocorticoids, or hypogonadism. Testosterone is a hormone associated with male sex drive found in both men and women. Including fluid retention, decreased sexual dysfunctions, depression, low levels of testosterone can also aid osteoporosis. Testosterone signaling stimulates osteoblasts, a type of bone cells, to form bone and helps osteocytes prevent bone loss. Although, the detailed role of testosterone in bone health of elderly men is less clear and likely reduces fracture risk.
Testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, is a hormone replacement therapy for men with low testosterone. TRT is used by physicians to treat a wide range of conditions that are caused by lowered testosterone levels, such as osteoporosis, decreased sexual dysfunctions, and metabolic dysfunctions. According to the US National Library of Medicine, testosterone replacement therapy can effectively reverse bone loss in men as testosterone signaling through a particular receptor in the body promotes bone formation in osteoblasts (bone cells) and inhibits bone loss.
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