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What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that causes bones to become thin and brittle, making them more likely to break. Osteoporosis may result in broken bones (fractures) in the spine and hip. Hip fractures often require hospitalization, and fractures of the bones in the spine (vertebrae) can cause loss of height and severe back pain. Both may lead to permanent disability.
Whether you develop osteoporosis depends on the thickness of your bones early in life, as well as health, diet, and physical activity later in life. See an illustration of healthy bone versus bone weakened by osteoporosis.
What causes osteoporosis?
During childhood and teen years, new bone is added faster than existing bone is absorbed by the body. After age 30, this process begins to reverse. As a natural part of aging, bone dissolves and is absorbed faster than new bone is made, and bones become thinner. You are more apt to have osteoporosis if you did not reach your ideal bone thickness (bone mineral density) during your childhood and teenage years. Not getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus may contribute to bone thinning. After age 50, lower levels of estrogen in women and of testosterone in men may speed up bone loss. If your mother, father, or a sibling has osteoporosis, your risk for the disease may be higher.

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?
• Back pain.
• Loss of height and stooped posture.
• A curved backbone (dowager's hump).
• Fractures that may occur with a minor injury, especially of the hip, spine, or…...

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