Osteoporosis means “porous bone”. The healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. When osteoporosis occurs, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone & the bone become porous. Osteoporotic bones have lost density or mass and contain abnormal tissue structure. As bones become less dense, they weaken and are more likely to break.
Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as 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 your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you might have signs and symptoms that include: Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra, Loss of height over time, stooped posture, bone that breaks much more easily than expected
The human bones are in a constant state of renewal therefore new bone is made and old bone is broken down. In the young age our body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone and our bone mass increases. After the early 20s this process slows, and most people reach their peak bone mass by age 30. As people age, bone mass is lost faster than it’s created.
Osteoporosis is more likely to occur in people who have:
• Low calcium intake- A lifelong lack of calcium plays a role in the development of osteoporosis. Low calcium intake contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
• Eating disorders- Severely restricting food intake and being underweight weakens bone in both men and women.
• Gastrointestinal surgery- Surgery to reduce the size of your stomach or to remove part of the intestine limits the amount of surface area available to absorb nutrients, including calcium. These surgeries include those to help you lose weight and for other gastrointestinal disorders.
Bone fractures, particularly in the spine or hip, are the most serious complications of osteoporosis. Hip fractures often are caused by a fall and can result in disability and even an increased risk of death within the first year after the injury.
Good nutrition, Vitamin D and regular exercise are essential for keeping our bones healthy throughout your life.