Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become weak and brittle, leading to an increased risk of fractures. It is most commonly diagnosed in postmenopausal women, but it can also affect men and people of all ages.
Risk factors for osteoporosis include
- Being female, having a family history of the condition,
- Being thin or having a small frame, and having low levels of estrogen or testosterone.
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.
Osteoporosis is diagnosed using a bone density test, which measures the density of the bones in the spine, hip and sometimes wrist.
Treatment for osteoporosis may include medications that slow bone loss such as bisphosphonates or selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). Lifestyle changes like regular weight-bearing exercise and a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D are also recommended to prevent or treat osteoporosis.
Prevention of osteoporosis is important because it cannot be cured! Some steps that can be taken to prevent osteoporosis include
- Getting enough calcium and vitamin D through food sources such as milk products;
- Exercising regularly;
- Avoiding smoking or excessive alcohol consumption; and
- Speaking with your healthcare provider about your risk