What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to become brittle and weak. Having decreased bone strength increases the risk for fractures. This can happen with a fall or even mild stress to a bone, such as coughing, sneezing, or even bumping into something. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur at the hip, spine, and wrist. About 54 million Americans have low bone density or osteoporosis.
What are symptoms of osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is known as a “silent disease,” especially in the earlier stages. This means that typically, there are no outward signs or symptoms. Many people do not know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone. In the later stages, when bones are already weakened by osteoporosis, the following symptoms may become evident:
What are risk factors for osteoporosis?
Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but some factors and conditions can increase your risk, which include:
How can I prevent osteoporosis?
Certain lifestyle factors can help to keep your bones healthy and strong to try and prevent osteoporosis. This includes:
Living with osteoporosis
If you or someone you care for is diagnosed with osteoporosis, the lifestyle factors above should be followed. It is also important to remove environmental fall risks in your home to prevent falls, which can lead to fractures.
If you are concerned about osteoporosis, talk to your health care provider about being screened.
Learn more about osteoporosis:
PCHC has developed a Health Promotion Activity Plan (HPAP) on osteoporosis and more.