What is osteoporosis?

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones. It happens when there is loss of bone or less production of bone. When you have this disease then your bones become so weak that you may break a bone with a minor bump or even from sneezing.

Healthy bone under a microscope looks like a tight network of structures. A bone with osteoporosis has wide gaps and holes within the bone structure, making it porous.

Research suggests that every woman over the age of 50 is prone to break bones due to osteoporosis. The number is 1 in 4 for men.

For young people, breaking bones may not be that serious since recovery is often quite quick. Osteoporosis commonly occurs in seniors, which can cause permanent pain in older patients. It can even cause people to appear shorter and, if it affects the spine, then the person appears stooped.

When seniors have osteoporosis, it causes severe limitation of movement. This can have a negative psychological effect on patients. Moreover, 20 percent of seniors with broken hips are known to die within a year of the accident. Others need long-term nursing care.

Fractures caused by osteoporosis are very expensive to deal with. Knee replacements and hip replacements are not cheap. Experts believe the cost of injuries due to osteoporosis could reach up to $25 billion and more in 2025.

There are no symptoms for osteoporosis. People usually get diagnosed when they have broken bones or a fracture. This is a silent disease. If you feel a difference in height or your back starts to curve, see your doctor immediately.