What are the signs of osteoporosis and how do they occur? Is it preventable?

Some patients with osteoporosis may be asymptomatic, whereas a few people may have pain in their bones and muscles, particularly in the backbone. This disease can be prevented by eating healthy, exercising regularly and taking estrogen hormones after menopause.

Osteoporosis is one of the common bone disorders affecting almost 10 million people in the US. It is a condition in which the bones lose their mass and become thin gradually. This makes bones more fragile and these break easily. Fractures of the hip and wrist bones are common in people with osteoporosis. In some people, appearance of a hump may be seen in the upper back region, and a decrease in height may be observed due to compression fractures of the spinal bones. Whenever pain is felt, it is sudden and not of radiating nature, but may become severe if weight is put over the area. The pain starts fading away within a week, but it may continue for 3 months.

Normally, our body is capable of replenishing the bone calcium. Osteoporosis occurs when the body is deficient of calcium to replace the old bone, and thus the bone begins to thin out. It is seen in women attaining menopause as their estrogen levels start depleting. Other factors causing osteoporosis include a diet deficient in calcium and vitamin D, excessive use of steroids, and alcohol abuse.

Prevention of osteoporosis should begin early in life by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, which gives good amount of calcium and vitamin D to our body. Regular exercise keeps the bones strong and decreases the risk of fractures.

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Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/

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