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Arthritis and Joint Pain

Arthritis and Joint Pain

Arthritis, Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. How Are They Different?

There are many different kinds of bone problems that can cause pain. In this article we review arthritis, Osteoporosis as well as Osteopenia. What are they? what are some of the risk factors, health conditions associated with Osteoporosis and Osteopenia and how to monitor your treatment.

How Are These Bone Conditions Different?

Osteoporosis and osteopenia are both caused by a reduction in bone density, whereas osteoarthritis is a degeneration of a joint due to a breakdown of cartilage. Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. Osteopenia is a condition that begins as you lose bone mass and your bones get weaker. This happens when the inside of your bones become brittle. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine.

Who Is at Risk for Arthritis, Osteopenia and Osteoporosis?

Not everyone develops osteopenia or osteoporosis but there are several risk factors that increase your chances. These include;

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Facts About Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

*All facts and statistics are based on research studies cited by the International Osteoporosis Foundation www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics

Health Conditions Associated With Osteoporosis:

How To Monitor Osteoporosis and Osteopenia 

Bone mineral density is a common surrogate marker of osteoporosis treatment efficacy. However, due to the relatively small effect of treatment relative to the precision of the test, it is not practical to repeat bone mineral density testing at intervals shorter than 2 years. Instead, a follow-up test to monitor the bone response in hormone replacement therapy and/or osteoporosis treatment protocols is the Pyrilinks-D testing. 

Pyridinium crosslinks consist of both pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline. Deoxypyridinoline is found predominantly in bone tissue, whereas pyridinoline is found in both bone and cartilage. Pyridinium crosslinks are released when bone is broken down (or resorbed). While not diagnostic of osteoporosis, these markers may be used to monitor bone resorption status and therefore are a useful gauge of treatment efficacy.

The level of deoxypyridinoline (DPD) is elevated, indicating an increased rate of bone loss. In individuals with no underlying bone disease, this is an important marker in the development of osteoporosis. Elevations of DPD may also suggest a recent fracture (levels may stay elevated for up to a year), or a rapid state of bone development as is found in adolescence.

The interplay between bone formation and resorption is a continuous lifelong process which favors bone formation in the early years of life, leading to a peak bone mass at approximately 20 to 30 years of age. From there on, the total bone mass gradually declines in both men and women.

Menopause and Bone Loss

Some women experience an increased rate of bone loss in the early post-menopausal years. The cycle of bone remodeling starts with osteoclasts (resorption cells) eroding bone surfaces, thereby forming cavities. This results in the release of collagen degradation by-products into the circulation system, such as pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline cross-links, hydroxyproline and N- and C-collogen telopeptides.

At the same time, osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) secrete bone matrix proteins, 90% of which are collagen type I with other minor proteins, as well as the hormone osteocalcin and the bone-specific isoenzyme of alkaline phosphatase and procollagen I extension peptides, which are secreted into general circulation. The final step in the cycle is the mineralization of the matrix protein by calcium salts.

Additional mechanical bone tensile strength is attained by the formation of pyridinuum cross-links (pyridinoline [Pyd] and deoxypyridinoline [DPD]) between the neighboring mature collagen fibrils.

The prolonged course of illness and disability from a chronic disease such as arthritis results in extended pain and suffering and decreased quality of life for millions of Americans.

Read more about treating arthritis and joint pain…

 

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