50% of all women are diagnosed with osteoporosis; 25% of men over the age of 50; and 10 million of all Americans total. Osteoporosis literally means 'porous bones,' and is also known as the 'silent disease.' This is because there are few symptoms that indicate that a person has osteoporosis. Osteoporosis affects the strength of the bones, typically as a person gets older.
What is osteoporosis?
From the beginning of life, the body constantly breaks down and builds new bones. This bone remodeling process takes approximately 2 or 3 months to complete. Eventually, the bones become most dense between the ages of 25 to 35. After this time, our bones begin having breaking down more bone matter than is built up. This is especially the case in women immediately after menopause, as estrogen levels drop off significantly. Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones to the point where they fracture and break easily.
Osteoporosis has serious consequences for your skeletal structure. For example, a person diagnosed with osteoporosis might fracture the vertebrae, hip, wrist, or other bones as a result of a very small fall. Treatment of these broken bones, especially hip fractures through hip replacements, can be very expensive. Additionally, the older a person gets, the longer it takes the body to heal. Osteoporosis can significantly slow down the healing process for bones. Continue reading here for more information on the causes of osteoporosis.