What is Osteoporosis?

What is Osteoporosis:It is a disorder of bone metabolism in which there is a reduction of total bone mass, making bones abnormally prone to fracture. The greatest incidence occurs among females between 50 and 70 years of age because of low level of estrogen after menopause. In this form of metabolic bone disorder, the rate of bone resorption accelerates leaving the bone brittle and weak. "What is Osteoporosis? Osteoporosis Symptoms & Osteoporosis Causes". This is a bone disease that results when the body has lossed so much bones and thus makes little bone or both. This result to bones becoming weak and bones may break from a fall or , in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.

When a bone is viewed under the microscope, a healthy one looks like a honey comb but in cases of osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much bigger than that of a healthy bone. Osteoporotic bones have lost their mass or density and it contains an abnormal tissue structure. As the bones resultively becomes less dense, they get weak and are more likely to break. So when people of 50 years or above of age have a broken, the doctors or healthcare consent is required in order to conduct a bone density test.

"What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis symptoms & osteoporosis causes"


In Osteoporosis the rate of bone loss (resorption) exceeds bone formation due to any of the causes. This results in decrease in total bone mass. The bones affected lose calcium and phosphate salts and they become porous, brittle and prone to fracture



Osteoporosis means "porous bone" (What is Osteoporosis literally). The bone in the body is a living, growing tissue which consists of the protein "collagen" mostly, this provides a soft frame work, and the calcium phosphate (mineral) , that strengthens and hardens the framework. The bone as a part of the body is not static (non-changing), it is constantly being broken down and continues being formed throughout a person's life time (see What is Osteoporosis).

In line with Nation Institute of Health U.S. the entire skeleton of the body gets replaced every 10 years. Bone formation occurs more faster than bone resorption in childhood and teenage age and this results to growth of an individual. There possibility of incidence of osteoporosis if one does not attain optimal peak of bone mass in bone-building/formative years.

"What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis symptoms & Osteoporosis Causes"

At about 30 years of age an individual reaches maximum bone density and strength after which bone resorption takes over bone formation. Osteoporosis is likely to result when there is improper imbalance between bone formation and bone resorption, i.e. if resorption occurs too fast or formation too slow. Whatever that causes the body to destroy too much of bones can cause the bones to become brittle(easily broken) or fragile. Generally women experience loss of bone during the first few years after reaching menopause and they continue to lose bone at this juncture.

Other Osteoporosis causes may include:

  • Post menopausal status
  • Prolonged immobilization
  • Long-term corticosteroid use
  • Nutritional deficiency (malnutrition)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Alcoholism
  • Malabsorption of calcium
  • Disorders of thyroid and parathyroid gland (hyperthyroidism and hyperparathyroidism)
  • Liver disease
  • Scurvy
  • Trauma


In early stages of osteoporosis, there is no symptoms but as time progresses the patient may notice back pain, loss of height, and a stopped posture. But in several cases the first symptom is characterized with breaking of bone(s)

Cases of Bone fractures are the most serious complication of osteoporosis, and the condition itself is severe, resulting to death in some cases (see What is Osteoporosis above).

Below is a statistical perspective on Osteoporosis from National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) United States:

  • Males are likely to break bone(s) due to osteoporosis than his chances of getting prostate cancer
  • A woman is at more risk of fracture when compared with her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer
  • Among patients with hip fracture, 24% of them die within the year as a result of the fracture (50 years or older)
  • After six months of the hip fracture, statistically only 15% of the patients can walk from a room to the other without aid
  • Among 300,000 patients of hip fracture each year, 25% of them end up in homes, and about 50% of them never regain their previous function


"What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis symptoms & osteoporosis causes"


Cases of Osteoporosis related bone fractures usually occur in the spine, and it is accompanied by the hips, wrists and pelvis. These listed fractures occurs from minor falls or possibly accidents, but cases of spinal fractures may likely occur if the spinal bones(vertebrae column bones) are weak to the extent off crumbling while some vertebral fractures are without symptoms, others could cause back pain and could result to a hunched posture. Apart from causing these pains and affecting the posture of the patient, Osteoporosis symptoms can also affect emotional state of the patient and reduce movement (mobility) which will result to depression and anxiety in the patient

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Osteoporosis constitutes to financial burdens on individuals and society at large. For example the NOF USA has a report that bone breaks resulting from Osteoporosis cost patients and their families and the USA Health care system about $19 billion annually. More so it is predicted that by year 2025 Osteoporosis will cause 3 million fractures in the United States which will likely result to a cost of $25.3 billion.

Diagnostic Evaluation

  • Radiographic and bone-density studies reveal loss of bone density in patients with 25% to 40% bone demineralization
  • Serum calcium phosphorus and alkaline phosphate are within normal ranges
  • Parathyroid hormone levels are elevated
  • Bone Biopsy to examine changes in bone cells
  • Examination of the vertebrae will show concavity (CT Scan)
  • Radio nuclide bone scans display injured or diseased areas as darker portions

Other Osteoporosis symptoms includes (clinical manifestation):

  • Pain
  • Visible deformity
  • Fractures Decreased exercise tolerance
  • Protruded abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty in breathing palpitation

"What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis symptoms & osteoporosis causes"


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