What is Osteoporosis?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 06, 2013

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Quick Bites

  • In osteoporosis, bones lose their strength and are more likely to break.
  • Those with osteoporosis have a higher risk of fractures.
  • Osteoporosis is more common in women than men.
  • Treatment options include drugs and hormone therapy.

Osteoporosis is a medical condition of the bones. The bones become thinner, lose their strength and are more likely to break. Osteoporosis is not related to arthritis, although it can cause fractures that lead to arthritis.




Those with osteoporosis have a higher risk of fractures. Their bones can fracture even during everyday movements, such as bending or coughing. The most common fractures include those of the wrist, hip and spine. The condition can cause a great deal of suffering; it reduces the person's ability to move around, especially when the fracture involves the hip.



The risks factors to develop osteoporosis are as follows.

  • Being female.
  • 50 or older.
  • A diet deficient in calcium.
  • An intestinal problem that prevents calcium and vitamins from being absorbed.
  • An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or if you take too much thyroid hormone.
  • A sedentary lifestyle, with little or no regular exercise
  • Thin physique.
  • Habits of smoking and drinking.
  • A family history of osteoporosis.
  • Use of certain medications that affect bone strength or hormone levels.


Symptoms and seeking medical advice

Osteoporosis doesn’t exhibit any symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. You may have signs and symptoms once bones have become weak. The condition can cause back pain because of the fractured or collapsed vertebra. A bone fracture that occurs much more easily is another sign of osteoporosis.

If you went through early menopause, are on certain medications or have a family history of osteoporosis, you may want to talk to your doctor about osteoporosis.


Treatment options

Drugs – There are certain drugs that can be prescribed after osteoporosis diagnosis. The drugs may cause after-effects such as nausea, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, and the risk of an inflamed esophagus. The side-effects are less likely when medicine is taken as per expert’s advice.


osteoporosis treatment


Hormone-related therapy – Estrogen therapy can help maintain bone density for women, when started soon after menopause. The treatment may increase a woman's risk of blood clots, endometrial cancer, breast cancer and possibly heart disease. In men, testosterone replacement therapy can help increase bone density as the hormone production declines as one age.



Healthy lifestyle helps one live healthy life. Those at greater risk of osteoporosis must take steps that help keep bones healthy and reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis. Regular exercise, healthy eating and lifestyle changes such as kicking smoking and drinking habits can help prevent the condition.



Read more articles on Osteoporosis.



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