What is Osteoporosis? It is low bone mass and loss of bone tissue that may lead to weak, fragile bones. If you have osteoporosis, you have an increased risk for broken bones, particularly in the hip, spine, and wrist.
Many consider osteoporosis to be a disease that frail elderly ladies develop but some damage from osteoporosis begins as early as 25 years old. It’s important to build strong bones by your mid-20s so they can maintain their strength later in life. It’s estimated that about half of all women older than 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis and one in four men will as well.
Why does osteoporosis affect more women than men? The primary cause of osteoporosis is a decrease in hormones, such as estrogen and others hormones, that occurs as men and women age. Women over the age of 60, are frequently diagnosed with the disease since estrogen production decreases during and after menopause and this decrease results in a loss of bone mass.. In fact, in years following menopause, a woman can lose up to 20% of her bone density.
Women also tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men. Inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, lack of weight-bearing exercise, and other age-related changes in endocrine functions (in addition to lack of estrogen) are other factors that may cause low bone mass.
While there is not a cure for osteoporosis, treatment is available. There are many steps you can take to manage the disease and reduce your chances of breaking a bones.
Years ago, osteoporosis and broken bones were considered to be a part of normal aging. Physicians know a lot more about how you can protect your bones throughout your life by eating healthy, exercising and making healthy lifestyle choices.