Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle-so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine.
There typically are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. But once bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may have signs and symptoms that include:
- Back pain, feeling of wanting to lay down always
- Loss of height over time
- A stooped posture
- A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected
A number of factors can increase the likelihood that you'll develop osteoporosis - including your age, lifestyle choices, and medical conditions and treatments.
Some risk factors for osteoporosis are out of your control, including:
- Your sex. Women are much more likely to develop
- osteoporosis than are men.
- Age. The older you get, the greater your risk of
- Family history. Having a parent or sibling with
- osteoporosis puts you at greater risk, especially if
- you also have a family history of hip fractures.
- Frame size. Men and women who have small
- body frames tend to have a higher risk because
- they may have less bone mass to draw from as they age.
Osteoporosis is more common in people who have too much or too little of certain hormones in their bodies. Examples include:
- Sex hormones
- Thyroid hormone
- Other glands
Osteoporosis is more likely to occur in people who have:
- Low calcium intake
- Eating disorders
- Gastrointestinal surgery
Some bad habits can increase your risk of osteoporosis:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Tobacco use
Three factors essential for keeping your bones healthy throughout your life are:
- Adequate amounts of calcium
- Adequate amounts of vitamin D
- Regular exercise
- Exposure to sunlight
Talk to your doctor about osteoporosis if you went through early menopause, early removal of uterus took corticosteroids for several months at a time or have a family history of hip fractures.
DR. SHYAM SUNDAR
D. Ortho., FRCS (Ortho)
Consultant Joint Replacement &
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon