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An Inside Look at Osteoporosis

May is National Osteoporosis Month, and we’re here to give you the inside scoop on osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become less dense and are more likely to break or fracture. The word osteoporosis literally means “porous bones.”

Primary osteoporosis is the most common type of osteoporosis and is age-related. As you get older, the rate of losing bone mass increases and the rate of building bone mass decreases. Women are more likely to be affected by this type of osteoporosis and at a younger age, due to lack of estrogen after menopause and having a lower bone mass to begin with.

Secondary osteoporosis occurs because of existing medical conditions (like cancer or hyperthyroidism) or from medications that break down bone. This type of osteoporosis affects men and women equally and can occur at any age.

Osteoporosis does not usually show symptoms in the early stages of the condition. People often do not notice until they break or fracture a bone. Later symptoms can include loss of height, stooped posture and broken bones in the hips, spine and wrists.

While some of the risk factors of osteoporosis cannot be helped (gender, age, family history), there are things you can do to decrease bone loss:

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D
  • Exercise
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes
  • Decrease alcohol intake

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