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Osteoporosis – FAQs- I

Key facts

Osteoporosis is a long-term disease that makes your bones more likely to break from minor injuries.

Many people don’t know that they have osteoporosis until they are diagnosed with a broken bone.

Osteoporosis can be managed through lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking or increasing exercise, and with prescription medicines that strengthen your bones.

If you are a man over 50, or a woman who no longer has a period, you should ask your doctor if you are at risk of osteoporosis and what you can do to prevent it.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a long-term (chronic) disease that makes your bone fragile and more likely to fracture., if you have a minor injury or fall.

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?

The most common symptom of osteoporosis is breaking or fracturing a bone because of a mild injury,

Other symptoms include:

  • gradual height loss
  • back pain
  • tiny cracks in your bones, known as stress fractures, feels like muscle aches  

What causes osteoporosis?

Everyone’s bones become weaker as they age, but in some people, this process happens too quickly.

Risk factors that cannot be changed include:

  • Age More than  70
  • being female
  • having fallen in the past
  • Family history
  • early menopause

Risk factors that can be reduced include:

Some medications can also increase risk of  osteoporosis, including:

  • steroids —
  •  drugs that block testosterone from working and which are sometimes used to treat prostate cancer
  • drugs that block estrogen from being produced and working and which are sometimes used to treat or prevent ovarian or breast cancer
  • thyroid hormone replacement therapy — which can be a risk factor when used for too long
  • antidepressant medications
  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) — medicines that make your stomach less acidic
  • Etc.