Osteoporosis is a disease where bone becomes thinner and weaker than normal. This results in a greater risk of breaking your bones (fractures) in areas that normally wouldn't break easily, such as the spine and hip. There may not be any signs of osteoporosis until the disease is quite far along. The first sign may be a bone fracture after a bump or fall. Other signs can include back pain and abnormal height loss.
Bone loss happens normally as we get older. In osteoporosis, there is a greater loss and weakening of bone than normal. While it is not possible to predict who will get osteoporosis, there are some factors that put you at greater risk of developing the disease. These include:
- Older age
- Female who has gone through menopause
- Family background of osteoporosis
- Drinking alcohol
- Reduced weight-bearing exercises
- Lack of calcium or vitamin D
- Taking certain medications that may affect bone, such as glucocorticoids
- Having certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
Treatment of osteoporosis includes improving lifestyle factors, such as exercising and maintaining a good diet. Medications can help slow down bone loss or help with bone production. It is also important to reduce the risk of falling. This can include making changes in your home to make it safer.