Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to become weak, brittle and prone to fracture. It can affect men and women. As you age, your bones become more porous and thin and are more likely to fracture when you fall or injure yourself.
After the age of 30, your body starts to lose bone density. Women are particularly susceptible because bone loss becomes more rapid for several years following the menopause. Having osteoporosis does not mean your bones will break (fracture), it just means you have a ‘greater risk of fracture’. Even if you already have osteoporosis, good nutrition, plenty of exercise and taking prescribed medications can slow the progression.
The two common forms of osteoporosis are:
1. Primary osteoporosis
Primary forms of osteoporosis are postmenopausal and age-related, respectively.
a) Postmenopausal osteoporosis: this happens during or after menopause as the level of the bone-building hormone oestrogen decline.
b) Age-related osteoporosis: the rate of bone loss is between 0.4 to 2 percent of your bone mass each year up to the age of 80. This form of osteoporosis usually starts later than the postmenopausal form and bone loss occurs much more slowly.
2. Secondary osteoporosis
Secondary forms are often caused by other diseases or use of certain medications.
Osteoporosis is preventable and treatable. The key to success is building a strong skeleton when you are young which would help decrease the rate of bone loss as you age.