The term “osteoporosis” comes from the Greek words for “bone” and “porous.” It is a disease characterized by increasing bone loss which can lead to fractures, height loss and a hump-backed appearance. It is more common than heart attacks, stroke and breast cancer combined. One in two women over the age of 65 will suffer at least one bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
A simple, painless bone density test can determine whether you already have or are at risk of developing osteoporosis.
The most serious risk for people with osteoporosis is hip fracture following a fall. However, osteoporotic bones are so weak that it doesn't always require a fall to cause injury – even everyday activities can result in a fracture. Spinal compression fractures, for example, are the most common osteoporotic-related injury and can be triggered simply by bending over.
Contrary to popular opinion, osteoporosis is not a natural result of aging. It is preventable. Therefore all women – especially those at a higher risk for developing the disease – should talk to their doctors about keeping their bones healthy. Preventative methods are especially important because osteoporosis is not curable.
Am I At Risk For Developing Osteoporosis?
You Have A Higher Risk Of Suffering From Osteoporosis If You:
- Are going through or have gone through menopause
- Are of Caucasian or Asian descent
- Are thin
- Have family members or a family history of osteoporosis
- Have insufficient calcium or vitamin D intake
- Do not exercise
- Drink alcohol frequently
- Take long-term bone-thinning medications.