Osteoporosis: The Silent Thief

Osteoporosis is a common metabolic bone disorder characterized by the progressive loss of bone mass density. It predominantly affects the thoracic and thoracolumbar regions of the spine and is a serious contributing factor to hip and wrist fractures that occur from falling. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak, fragile and susceptible to fracture. This can cause loss of height, stooped posture, humpback (kyphosis), and severe pain that can be debilitating.

Although osteoporosis is more common in women, men are at risk too. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recently reported that osteoporosis is responsible for approximately 700,000 vertebral fractures each year!

The purpose of this information is to help you understand osteoporosis, the symptoms and complications, how it is diagnosed and treated, the risk factors, and how you can begin to prevent or control this disorder today with your physician’s assistance.

Bone: Living Tissue
During childhood and adolescence the body builds its ‘bone bank’ to help fortify the body’s skeletal architecture during adulthood. This is why proper nutrition, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are advocated to give a growing body every advantage. Although most adults reach their peak bone mass around 30 years of age, many factors affect peak bone mass including gender and heredity.

Throughout adulthood living bone renews itself by breaking down old bone and replacing it with new. Osteoclasts resorb portions of old bone and osteoblasts follow to form an organic matrix of minerals that become new bone. Of course, there are many other chemical changes required to sustain this cycle (e.g. hormones).

Osteoporosis occurs when the balance of the cycle is upset causing bone to break down faster than it can be replaced by new bone. Over time, this can seriously affect the structural integrity of bone.

Common Risk Factors
Knowing the risk factors can help you prevent or control osteoporosis.

Factors You Cannot Control

Risk Factors You Can Control


-Low calcium diet

-Asian background

-High caffeine use

-Fair complexion with blue eyes


-Thin petite body build

-Excessive alcohol consumption

-Family history of osteoporosis

-Chronic Dieting

-Early menopause

-Estrogen deficiency

-Lactose intolerance

-Sedentary lifestyle


Updated on: 07/28/15
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Types of Osteoporosis: Primary or Secondary
This article explains in a clear and easily understood fashion the basic physiology of osteoporosis, risk factors, causes of osteoporosis, and reviews current treatment options with an appropriate emphasis upon prevention. This article will provide a general resource for patients seeking a clear explanation of this disease process.
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Types of Osteoporosis: Primary or Secondary

Some physicians classify osteoporosis as either primary or secondary. Classification may be dependent on whether the osteoporosis is age related or caused by a medical condition or medications that can interfere with normal bone reformation.
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