What Is Osteoporosis?


Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is said to make one’s bones porous. When affected by this disease, bones lose their density and mass and, therefore, are likely to break easier. If you are over 50 and you happen to break a bone, it is advisable that you also ask your healthcare provider to do a bone density test.

Is it common?

If you get diagnosed with osteoporosis, you should not feel alone, as this disease is not at all rare. Studies have shown that around 54 million Americans suffer from it. Additionally, studies point out that one in four men and one in two women that are aged 50 and older will eventually break bones due to osteoporosis. White and Asian women that are past menopause, are most likely to develop this condition.


Symptoms and medical attention

According to the specialists, there are no evident symptoms that might alert you that you’ve started to lose density in the bones. However, as the disease advances, there are signs you should not ignore. For instance, you might have to deal with back pain caused by collapsed or fractured vertebrae, loss of height, a stooped posture, and frequent bone fractures.

The best moment when you should seek medical attention is after you have gone through early menopause. Similarly, those that have undergone a corticosteroids treatment for several months, and those that have/had blood relatives that had hip fractures should also see a medic.


Risk factors

Numerous doctors have argued that there are a couple of risk factors that are out of the patient’s control. For example, your gender, if you are a woman, and your age, as the older you get, the higher the chances of developing the disease are. Family history and body frame size are some other factors that should also be taken into account. Those that have a sibling with osteoporosis are at higher risk. Also, people with smaller body frames are also at risk as they might a lower less bone mass.

Hormones and dietary factors

It has been proven that osteoporosis is more likely to appear if a person has too much or too little of specific hormones. Those that have low levels of sex hormones tend to have weaker bones. Hence, treatments for prostate cancer in men and those for breast cancer in women are said to accelerate bone loss.

Thyroid problems can also lead to weaker bones. Other glands that might affect the integrity of your bones are the adrenal and parathyroid glands.  

When it comes to one’s diet, it is worth keeping in mind that osteoporosis is likely to occur in those people who had gastrointestinal surgery, eating disorders or overall low calcium intake.