Our body is constantly replacing old bone cells with new ones, but there are some conditions which can disrupt this process. One of these is Paget’s disease, a suddenly-occurring condition wherein the bones may become bent, too big, brittle, weak or soft, giving them an off shape. The new bones may also not fit together as well as they should. This condition is not to be taken lightly. It’s important to learn more about it and know which treatments are available for it. Keep reading this article to learn more!
What is Paget’s Disease?
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Paget’s Disease, also known as osteitis deformans, is actually the second most common bone condition, especially in elderly patients. Only osteoporosis is more common.Paget’s usually affects the normal process of remodeling the bones, wherein cells are replaced continuously by the body.
In those who have Paget’s disease, the process of bone remodeling is altered, and they may also suffer from bone resorption or removal, followed by an excessive or unnecessary amount of new formation. This new bone is generally not as strong as normal bone tissue, is much larger than normal and contains more blood vessels. Though some cases have minimal or no symptoms, other patients may develop deformities, fractures, bone pain and more.
Men are more prone to the condition than women, and it is more common in the northern parts of Europe, especially Great Britain. However, it is not common in areas such as Asia and Africa. Paget’s get more common as we age, commonly diagnosed in people in their 50s.
What Causes Paget’s Disease?
The cause of Paget’s disease is actually unknown to this day, but scientists suspect it a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to it, as several genes appear to be linked to those who have it. Some scientists also believe it is closely related a viral infection found in bone cells, although this particular theory is quite controversial.
Paget’s Disease: Symptoms
Most people with Paget’s disease show no symptoms at all. Those who do have symptoms primarily complain about bone pain. The condition may affect only one or two areas in the body, such as:
- Leg: as the bones get weaker, they may bend, thus causing you to become bowlegged.
- Spine: when spine is affected, the nerve roots may become compressed, causing you to feel pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in your arms or legs.
- Skull: an overgrowth of the skull bones may lead to loss of hearing or headaches.
- Pelvis: an affected pelvis may cause hip pain.
Paget’s Disease: Risk Factors
Here are the factors which increase in the risk of getting the condition:
- Family history
- National origin
Treatments for Paget’s Disease
Some of the most effective treatments for Paget’s disease include:
- Weight loss: losing weight helps reduce stress on the bones and joints, thus protecting them from getting worse. However, losing weight also leaves the body susceptible to the deformation form Paget’s disease.
- Exercise: maintaining flexibility and light exercises are some of the best treatments for Paget’s disease, as it keeps the joints and muscles in shape.
- Sunlight: this is an easy way to increase the vitamin D in the body.
- Vitamin D: this essential nutrient, which helps strengthen and firm bones, is actually associated with the Paget’s disease. Vitamin D is also important in the absorption of calcium in the intestines.
- Calcium consumption: increased calcium consumption help minimize the impact of the disease in the body. We know that calcium is an essential mineral builds strong bones.