Osteoporosis is a condition in which there is loss of normal bone density, mass and strength. Although in can affect both sexes, women, particularly those that are post menopausal are at the most risk of developing this disorder. Osteoporosis can produce weakened bones that undergo unexplained fractures. Osteoporosis affects twenty million Americans.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Cause is loss of bony structure and strength and factors include: prolonged lack of adequate calcium and protein in the diet, low estrogen levels after menopause, decreased activity with increased age, smoking (possibly), use of steroid (cortisone) drugs, prolonged disease, including alcoholism, vitamin deficiency (especially of vitamin C), hyperthyroidism, cancer, and genetic predisposition.
Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can affect many bones. Involvement of the spine is common. It can lead to backache. The majority of times, however, there may not be any symptoms. If a pathological fracture occurs, there may be a sudden increase in pain over the involved bone. Swelling and bruising may commonly occur at the site of fracture. Collapse of many vertebra can occur and lead to deformity of the spine and loss of height. Fractures can occur in the hip and arm and appear frequently to be the result of minor trauma.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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