What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis also known as “brittle bone disease” is a condition when the bone rapidly loses its density. The bones become very brittle and subject to fracture easily as it becomes less dense at the core.

There typically are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. But once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may have signs and symptoms that include:

  • Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
  • Loss of height over time
  • A stooped posture
  • A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected

The hip bone is the part of the body that is usually affected in the case of osteoporosis. Weakening of the bone especially affects women at their menopausal stage which leads to decreased production of estrogen, a female hormone that keep the bones strong. Although women 50 years or older are most at risk for osteoporosis, younger women and men can also be affected.

Peak bone mass is attained by the age of 30. After that, bone mass gradually decreases. In pregnant and lactating women, the pace of bone loss will temporarily increase if the increased calcium demands of pregnancy or breastfeeding are not met by increased dietary intake of calcium.

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