Osteoporosis, a progressive bone disease, causes bones to become weak and brittle. This puts people with osteoporosis at high risk for bone fractures due to a loss of bone density. Simple acts like bending over or even coughing can lead to a fracture in the hip or spine. Fractures also commonly happen in the wrists.
Bones are constantly interchanging between old and new bones. Osteoporosis is caused when new bone creation lags in replacing the removal of old bone. Osteoporosis can affect anyone, but women that are postmenopausal are at higher risk. Race is also a factor, with people of white and Asian descent also being at high risk.
Some other factors that lead to osteoporosis are tobacco use, excessive alcohol intake, and an inactive lifestyle.
Osteoporosis is harder to catch during the early stages since there are fewer symptoms. Once osteoporosis has weakened bones, some common symptoms are back pain, loss of height, bone fractures, and change in posture.
Simple life changes such as a healthy diet and exercise, paired with medication, can help strengthen bones.