Paget's disease, whose name has been derived from the famous British surgeon Sir James Paget, is a bone disorder. In effect, Dr. Paget was the first to identify as well as explain this persistent bone disease in the latter part of the 19th century. This health condition is also referred to as osteitis deformans. This bone disorder is characterized by acute degeneration of the bones and simultaneous formation of bones that are lacking in calcium and, hence, compared to the normal bones they are easily broken.
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It may be noted that the usual bones posses an equilibrium of several forces, which work in the formation of new bones as well as the removal of old bones. This process, which is known as 'bone remodelling', is crucial to sustain the standard levels of calcium in the bones. Bones that are affected by Paget's disease do not undergo bone remodelling and they even lack synchronization. Consequently, the newly formed bones are generally anomalous and distended. They also lack the normal density, are fragile and inclined to facture or breakage.
In adults, Paget's disease generally has an effect on the older skeletal bone and, according to rough estimate, approximately one per cent of the adult population in the United States, suffers from Paget's disease. In addition, a very unusual type of Paget's disease is found in children, which is known as juvenile Paget's disease. However, the precise reason responsible for Paget's disease is yet to be ascertained. Of late, scientists have related specific genes to Paget's disease, which include the Sequestrosome 1 gene present on chromosome 5. It is believed that a viral infection may possibly set off Paget's disease in individuals having inherited the propensity of the genes to develop this disease by possessing these specific genes.
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Generally, people affected by Paget's disease do not have any symptoms, at least in the initial stages of developing this chronic bone disorder, and it is interesting to note that it is often identified when the X-rays of the patient are taken for diagnosing other medical conditions. Nevertheless, people enduring this health condition may possibly suffer from bone pains, fracture, and malformation of bones as well as arthritis. Patients affected by Paget's disease experience bone pain in the bones that have developed this condition. The bones that are usually affected by this health condition comprise the femur (thigh bone), the spine, the skull, the pelvis, the humerus (bone of the upper arm), and the clavicle (collar bone).
It is worth mentioning here two main factors - the affected bones as well as the severity of the condition determine the symptoms of Paget's disease. In effect, when the affected bones become enlarged they may squeeze the nearby nerves, thereby resulting in lack of sensation and tingling in the area. In some cases, the legs may even bend over, whereas if the hip or knee is affected by Paget's disease, it may result in limping, arthritis and even aches and rigidity of the bones in these body parts. In case the disease affects the skull bones, the patient may experience headaches, lack of eyesight as well as impaired hearing. In case the Paget's disease is very pervasive, the patient may also suffer from congestive heart failure owing to an augmented burden on the heart.
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Individuals who have developed Paget's disease are also likely to suffer from certain complications, such as the bones in the affected areas being inclined to breakage or fracture owing to even slight trauma. Unfortunately, the healing process of such fractures is very sluggish and usually they never heal completely. In addition, the patients may experience collapse of the vertebra or vascular changes that may have an effect on the spinal cord resulting in paraplegia. In some cases, the affected bones may impinge the cranial nerves leading to hearing loss as well as loss of vision accompanied by vertigo and tinnitus.
Paget's disease may also cause additional complications, including hypertension, sarcoma, gout, osteoarthritis, renal calculi, heart failure as well as a wobble walk attributable to softening of the pelvic bones.
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As a general rule, individuals who have developed Paget's disease should be given calcium in a dosage of anything between 1,000 mg and 1,500 mg, sufficient exposure to sunlight and a minimum of 400 units of vitamin D every day. This regimen is particularly vital for people who are undergoing treatment with bisphosphonates. However, if you have a history of kidney stones, it is advisable that you consult your physician prior to taking calcium and vitamin D.
Besides the above regimen, people who have been affected by Paget's disease should essentially undertake exercises in order to sustain the health of their bones and be careful of not putting on additional flab. In addition, they should also sustain the mobility of their joints. As it is vital for the patient to avoid excessive strain or pressure on the bones affected by Paget's disease, they ought to essentially consult their physician prior to starting any exercise program.
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Using homeopathic remedies is one way of treating as well as preventing Paget's disease. In effect, homeopathy is among the most widely accepted comprehensive medical systems and deciding on the right homeopathic remedy for any health condition is founded on the hypothesis of individualization as well as similarity of the symptoms by adopting a holistic method. This, in fact, is the solitary means by which one can achieve or get back complete health by means of getting rid of the entire indications and symptoms suffered by the patient. It is worth mentioning here that the primary objective of homeopathic treatment is not just curing Paget's disease, but, at the same time, dealing with the basic reasons responsible for this health condition as well as the vulnerability of the affected individual. When we are discussing therapeutic medication, it needs to be noted that there are many remedies that are useful for treating Paget's disease and you may select any of them depending on the reasons, responsiveness as well as the attributes of the complaints. In order to select personalized remedies and receive individualized treatment, it is important for the patient to talk to a competent homeopathic physician personally.
Some of the homeopathic remedies that are effective in treating Paget's disease include Phosphorus, Phosphoric Acid, Calcaria Phos., Calcaria Carb., Fluoric Acid, Iodium, Ferrum Met., Ferrum Aceticum, Kreosote and Iridium Met. In addition, patients suffering from Paget's disease may also select from a wide assortment of other homeopathic remedies.
As discussed earlier, Paget's disease does not result in any symptoms in the initial stages of this health condition, involving a chronic bone disorder. Therefore, physicians generally do not advise any treatment till the symptoms occur. However, the treatment may be commenced once the symptoms have emerge or have any effect on any extremely risky body part or when the blood examinations show an elevated level of alkaline phosphatase. Starting treatment in such a stage will help to inhibit the advancement of the disease and also aid in avoiding development of any complication.
While Paget's disease is still not completely curable, there are a wide range of treatments that may ease or even restrict the symptoms from deteriorating. People who have developed Paget's disease may be advised to take medicines called bisphosphonates, for instance, etidronate, alendronate and risedronate. In effect, these medicines are also used for treating osteoporosis. However, when they are used to treat Paget's disease, the dosage is generally much higher and more frequent in comparison to those for treating osteoporosis. Besides bisphosphonates, medications like pamidronate and zoledronic acid are also recommended for people suffering from Paget's disease. These two medicines aid in reconstructing the normal bones as well as provide relief from pain associated with this health condition. Calcitonin is yet another medicine that is given to patients who are unable to endure other medicines. Using calcitonin also helps in inhibiting the bone loss as well as growth of deformed bones, while providing relief from pain caused by this chronic bone disorder.
In addition, people suffering from Paget's disease may also be given medications that help in providing relief from pain, for instance nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen.
Besides taking the conventional medications, homeopathic remedies as well as herbs and supplements, it is important for patients of Paget's disease to undertake an exercise program with a view to lessen the rigidity of their joints. However, not all exercises are good for people who have developed this chronic bone disorder and, hence, prior to starting any exercise program, they should essentially talk to their physician or healthcare provider. Applying heat or cold on the affected parts may often ease the pain caused by Paget's disease. While applying heat may aid in providing relief from throbbing muscles, rigidity and pain, application of cold has the aptitude to lessen pain as well as inflammation.
There are occasions when surgery may be essential to treat Paget's disease. Normally, surgery is required when the affected bones have been deformed considerably or in case there is a bone fracture or breakage. People suffering from this chronic bone disorder generally experience bone fracture in the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) and these cases are treated using an intramedullary rod. In other words, surgeons put in a rod inside the cavity of the marrow located at the center of the bone. However, it is unfortunate that when Paget's disease patients suffer from bone fracture, it usually takes a prolonged period to heal, which is attributable to the anomalies in the formation of new bones.
People affected by Paget's disease may also undergo another type of surgery that is referred to as osteotomy. This procedure involves removing a part of the affected bone to rectify the wrong alignment. This operation may become essential when the bones of the leg are distorted with the advancement of this chronic bone disorder.
Patients of Paget's disease are generally very susceptible to bone breakage or fracture. Therefore, they should consult their physician regarding what precautions he or she should take to avoid falling. In such cases, the physician may advise the patients to use a walker or cane for support while moving around. It is important for such people to be careful and also ensure that they take fall-proof measures at home. For instance, they should get rid of all floor coverings that are slippery, keep all cords in a secured and concealed place, use mat in the bathtub or shower that prevent skidding, also set up grab bars in the bathroom and handrails on the stairways.
At the same time, people suffering from Paget's disease should make sure that their diet contains sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D, which makes it easier for their body to assimilate calcium. This is particularly crucial if they are undergoing treatment with medications known as bisphosphonates.
Before concluding this discussion on Paget's disease, it may be reiterated that it is essential for people who have developed this chronic bone disorder to undertake exercises regularly with a view to preserve the strength of their bones as well as to sustain the mobility of their joints. It is also important that they consult their physician or healthcare provider prior to starting any exercise program to decide on the most appropriate nature, period as well as intensity of the exercises they should undertake. It needs to be borne in mind that involving in certain types of activities may cause excessive strain on their bones, especially those affected by Paget's disease.
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