Osteoporosis literally means 'porous bones'. It occurs when the walls of the honeycombe-like structure within the bones become thin, causing the bones to become fragile and break easily following a minor bump or fall. Bones broken in this way are often referred to as fragility fractures. The terms fracture and 'broken bones' mean the same thing. Fragility fractures can occur almost anywhere throughout the body however it is the wrists, hips and spine that are most often affected.
Risk factors for osteoporosis, some of the most common are;
- Family History
Unfortunately if there is a tendancy to osteoporosis in your family you might well be at increased risk of developing the condition.
- Long term Steroid treatment
Osteoporosis is a side effect of long term steroid treatment, for conditions like like rhumatoid arthritis or polymyalgia rhumatica.
- Early or surgical menopause
Decline in bone mineral content in women accompanies the menopause, the younger you are when go through the menopause the greater the risk of fragility fractures in later life.
- Digestive Illnesses and Intestinal surgery
These can impair your ability to absorb Calcium and so increase the risk .
- Eating disorders
People who suffer Anorexia when they are young are at increased risk of osteoporosis because their bones were deprived of adequate Calcium and other minerals during those important formative years.