What is osteoporosis?

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Osteoporosis literally refers to “porous bone”.  It is a condition wherein a person’s bone density gets too low that he/she is highly prone to fractures from minor falls and similar incidents.  Under normal conditions, when the bone is studied from under a microscope, the bone tissues resemble a honeycomb. The individual spaces in the honeycomb structure are much bigger when a person has osteoporosis. This structure makes the bones more brittle and weaker.  With osteoporosis, bones can easily break causing several fractures in various parts of the body.  Oftentimes, people will only know that they have osteoporosis when they get medically examined after a fracture or a fall.

The degradation of bone density in osteoporosis is considered a natural process for the body. The problem is that some people are more at risk into developing osteoporosis compared to others.  Elderly people and women are more prone to developing osteoporosis. From a peak bone density at around the age of 30, some people will lose bone density faster than others and this may lead to osteoporosis by around age 60 or so.  Those with relatives that develop osteoporosis are also more likely to develop the same bone condition.  People who take high-level medications like steroids and those into chemical therapies may also develop osteoporosis faster than others.  Existing medical ailments like metabolic and hormonal problems may also lead to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a very serious problem because this condition is said to creep on people as they age.  Most people don’t experience any symptoms until they consult their doctors.  Others meanwhile may have pain in their joints or have difficulty standing or sitting.  Some people also develop a stooping position because of osteoporosis.  To avoid the risks and complications of osteoporosis, patients are often advised to change their lifestyle in terms of what they do physically and what they eat.  Supplements like calcium and Vitamin D are may be prescribed along with proper diet and guarded exercise.

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