Osteoporosis; Plain & Simple

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone that happens when your body has lost too much bone, is not making enough bone, or both.  When your bones become osteoporotic they have a decreased density or mass and become thin, brittle and weak.  As your bones become less dense, they are much more likely to break. 

Proper nutrition and physical activity are vital during your teens and 20’s so that you may reach your highest potential of bone mass during your 30’s.  It is interesting to note that bone density peaks during your 30’s and begins to slowly decrease after that.  Osteoporosis can be a result of not reaching your peak bone mass during your 30’s and also from an increased bone loss later in life.

The two main factors that contribute to bone loss later in life, in both women and men, are aging and a decrease in estrogen.  Insufficient calcium or vitamin d intake or absorption, as well as a few different concomitant disease states, may contribute to a decrease of bone density at any point along this path. 

Fractures in bone structure from low impact situations, such as falling from a sitting or a standing position, are characteristic of the types of bone breaks you would see with an osteoporotic patient.  Osteoporosis sneaks up on people because they can’t necessarily fell their bones becoming weaker.  Quite often a patient does not even realize they have osteoporosis until they break a bone and then have a follow-up bone density test that shows osteoporosis in their bones. 

If you are over 50, or if you have noticed you have been getting shorter or your upper back is curving forward, please ask your doctor if you should have a bone density test. 


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