Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens your bones thus makes your bones thinner and less dense than they should be. People with osteoporosis are much more likely to experience broken bones (bone fractures).
Your bones are usually dense and strong enough to support your weight and absorb most kinds of impacts. As you age due to calcium reduction, your bones naturally lose some of their density and their ability to regrow (remodel) themselves
Most people don’t know they have osteoporosis until it causes them to break a bone.
Osteoporosis can make any of your bones more likely to break, but the most commonly affected bones include:
Your bones are in a constant state of renewal new bone is made and old bone is broken down. When you're young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone and your bone mass increases. After the early 20s this process slows, and most people reach their peak bone mass by age 30. As people age from 50 years and above, bone mass is lost faster than it's created.
How likely you are to develop osteoporosis depends partly on how much bone mass you attained in your youth. Peak bone mass is partly inherited and varies also by ethnic group. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have "in the bank" and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.
There typically are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. But once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you might have signs and symptoms that include:
A number of factors can increase the likelihood that you'll develop osteoporosis including your age, race, lifestyle choices, and medical conditions and treatments.
Some risk factors for osteoporosis are out of your control, including:
Osteoporosis is more common in people who have too much or too little of certain hormones in their bodies. Examples include:
Osteoporosis is more likely to occur in people who have:
Some bad habits can increase your risk of osteoporosis. Examples include:
Bone breaks, particularly in the spine or hip, are the most serious complications of osteoporosis. Hip fractures often are caused by a fall and can result in disability and even an increased risk of death within the first year after the injury.
In some cases, broken bones in the spine can occur even if you haven't fallen. The bones that make up your spine, called vertebrae, can weaken to the point of collapsing, which can result in back pain, lost height and a hunched-forward posture.
Good nutrition and regular exercise are essential for keeping your bones healthy throughout your life.
Men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70.
Good sources of calcium include:
Your bone density can be measured by a machine that uses low levels of X-rays to determine the proportion of mineral in your bones