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Osteoporosis

Could Advanced Osteoporosis Cause Breathing Problems?

05/27/2008

Question:

My mother has advanced osteoporosis. The disease has advanced to the point that she is having difficulty breathing when standing. She complains that her head "doesn`t feel right" but has difficulty explaining exactly how it feels. When asked, however, she has affirmed to me that it feels like "cobwebs" are in her head. Could this be related to the restriction of oxygen flow? Also, can you tell me a little about the prognosis for someone with advanced osteoporosis? She is under the care of a geriactric specialist (she`s 88 years old), but we haven`t received much information regarding the osteoporosis.

Answer:

It is often difficult to sort out the main cause of each of the ailments elderly people have.  Severe curvature of the spine associated with osteoporosis or other causes of curvature can lead to difficulties breathing and feelings of indigestion.  Funny feelings in the head are not commonly associated with osteoporosis.  Fractures, including vertebral and hip can lead to much discomfort as can distortion of the posture.  Taking great care to prevent falls and additional fractures is paramount.  Talk with her primary care provider about the other symptoms.

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Response by:

Margery   Gass, MD Margery Gass, MD
Formely, Professor, Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati