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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes you to lose bone mass. This disease frequently affects women past menopause but it also affects men as well. When bones lose mass, they become weak and brittle. Fractures happen frequently to those suffering from this ailment.

Symptoms

There are no symptoms during the early phases. Later, symptoms may include fractures of the vertebrae, hips or wrists, low back pain, neck pain, stooped posture, bone pain or tenderness and loss of height over time.

Causes

Bone is a living tissue. It is constantly being reabsorbed and rebuilt. Osteoporosis occurs when more bone is being reabsorbed than is being replaced. The bones eventually become weaker and thinner than they once were. Major risk factors include age, being of white or Asian ethnicity, small bone structure, heredity, previous bone fractures, estrogen deficiency, anorexia, smoking, alcohol abuse, low dietary intake and absorption of calcium and vitamin D, and a sedentary lifestyle. Some medications may put you at a higher risk, and so can other disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems and more.

Cautions

If you notice a gradual change in your height, you should see your doctor. Measure yourself at least every two years to check your height. If you find yourself with other symptoms, get diagnosed as soon as possible. Treatment for osteoporosis can help slow down the progression of the disease. If you have any of the risk factors, change what you can before it becomes a problem.

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