Overview of osteoperosis

Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle, breaking easily. Osteoporosis primarily affects older women.

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Symptoms of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is called the “silent disease” because you can’t feel your bones losing strength. The primary symptom, and often the first sign, is a broken bone. The most commonly broken bones due to osteoporosis are the hip, wrist, and spine.

Loss of mass in the bones of the spine (the vertebrae) can also cause a stooped or hunched back, loss of height, and back pain.

Causes of osteoporosis

Experts don’t yet know the exact cause of osteoporosis. However, age, gender, personal habits, and certain diseases and conditions play a role.

Your risk of osteoporosis is greater if you:

  • Are a woman older than 50 (but men and younger adults also develop osteoporosis)
  • Are short and slender
  • Have diabetes, thyroid imbalance, certain autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, and other medical conditions
  • Have a family history of osteoporosis and bone fractures
  • Don’t get enough calcium or vitamin D in your diet
  • Are physically inactive
  • Smoke tobacco or drink alcohol

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