What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when your body loses an excessive amount of bone material. As a result of this bones become weak and can easily break.
The microscopic structure of these bones
The word ‘Osteoporosis’ means porous bones. If you are healthy, when you look through a microscope your bones would look like a honeycomb. When you suffer from osteoporosis, the holes in the honeycomb become a lot bigger. Bones that are osteoporotic have lost either mass or density, which causes the structure to become weakened. This is more common in older people.
Once you are 50 years or older and have already suffered a broken bone you should ask your healthcare provider for a bone density test.
How common is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is common. Studies have suggested that around 50% of women older than 50 years suffer broken bones owing to osteoporosis. This is less true for men, at around 25%.
It is a serious condition
Osteoporosis is a serious complication if you break a bone. This is especially true for the older people. The parts of your body that are the most vulnerable in this regard are the hips, wrists, and spine. Although other bones are also at risk. Osteoporosis can make it hard to resolve painful symptoms following a break. It may also affect the spine structures leading to a stooped or hunched back.
There are several treatments that can be used to return health to your bones, these would typically include:
- Calcium and Vitamin Supplements
- Hormone therapy
If you have osteoporosis it is important to seek medical advice should you break a bone.