What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis means “porous bone1.” Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.
When you view a healthy bone under a microscope, it looks like a honeycomb. But when osteoporosis occurs, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger. Bones affected by osteoporotic have lost density or mass and contain abnormal tissue structure.
If you learn the signs and symptoms of osteoporosis, you can detect the disease earlier and seek treatment to avoid any serious injuries.
Symptoms Of Osteoporosis
Many individuals suffering from the early stages of osteoporosis don’t experience any symptoms at all. The symptoms only appear after you have experienced major bone loss and weakness. Here’s a closer look at what you might expect:
1. Back Pain
Typically, osteoporosis results in bone and joint pain. Although that pain can manifest anywhere in your body, it’s common for it to affect your back. As the disease weakens bones, your back can’t hold the weight of your body.
Pain in your back can also be caused by slouching, which is another sign of osteoporosis. If you have back pain, you should contact a doctor. There are many possible causes, but osteoporosis could be one of them.
2. Loss In Height
Osteoporosis can cause you to shrink in height. When you have bone loss, your spine can experience compression fractures. When you have multiple fractures in your vertebrate, you lose height.
Have you noticed a change in your height? It’s not natural for you to become shorter as you age. If you are shorter than you were last year, you could possibly have osteoporosis. It’s crucial that you contact a doctor and take steps to limit your bone loss.
3. Unintended Stooping
For the same reason osteoporosis causes you to lose height, it also causes you to stoop2. The fractures in your spine cause your back to curve unnaturally. As a result, you must stoop.
At first, stooping might not seem like much of a problem, but it can quickly become an issue. In serious cases, you could experience back pain and neck pain or difficulty breathing.
Often, it takes someone else to notice that you’re stooping. If someone points out the fact that you’re slouching over or have a curved back, you should know that osteoporosis could be the cause.
4. Unexpected Bone Fractures
At some point in our lives, most of us wil break an arm, leg, or finger. However, that potential increases if you develop osteoporosis. The disease weakens your bones, making them more likely to fracture3.
When you’re young, your bones are only at the risk of breaking in extreme situations. For example, a serious fall or car accident could result in broken bones. But osteoporosis causes fractured bones in situations that are not as extreme. In fact, everyday circumstances can cause fractures in individuals with osteoporosis.
The most common fractures happen in the spine of patients. If you experience frequent fractures or fractures in routine situations, you could have osteoporosis.
Understanding The Causes Osteoporosis
Throughout your life, your bones constantly break down and build back up. When you are younger, your bones renew themselves faster than they break themselves down. After your early 20s, you start to lose bone quicker than your body can build it up. The result is porous bones that break more easily.
However, some people are more likely to experience bone loss sooner than others. For one, it depends on how much bone you built up when you were younger. The more bone you produced, the lower your risk of osteoporosis.
Some risk factors of osteoporosis are beyond your control:
- Women are more at risk for the disease than men.
- Older men and women are more at risk.
- Individuals with a family history of the disease are also at greater risk.
- Even your body frame size can affect the likelihood of you developing bone loss.
- White and Asian women are more prone to osteoporosis than other demographics.
- Women going through menopause are also at a higher risk of getting osteoporosis.
Certain lifestyle choices can also affect your risk of getting osteoporosis. For example, not exercising increasing your risk4. The more active you are, the more likely you are to have good bone density and limit your chances of bone loss.
Smoking and drinking alcohol also increases your risk of the disease. If you can cut out those bad habits, you can improve your chances at healthy bones.
It's also important to get enough calcium and vitamin D to support healthy bone-building. Our Bone Strength supplement is made with plant-based calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, plus 7 other nutrients that support healthy bone.
2. Osteoporosis & Height Loss: Why it happens and how to prevent it, December, 2005