Osteoporosis causes weak bones that are more likely to break. Get tested. Take control of your health.
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Osteoporosis occurs five times more often in women than in men.
1 in 2
One in two women over the age of 60 years will experience at least one fracture due to osteoporosis.
1 in 5
Men will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become thin, brittle, and weak. These changes can increase the risk of fractures.
When a woman reaches menopause — which causes menstruation to slow and eventually stop — their estrogen and progesterone levels decrease. These hormones influence bone health, and lower quantities can lead to lower bone density. Reduced bone density can eventually lead to osteoporosis.
There are typically no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. But once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you might have signs and symptoms that include:
- Back pain caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Loss of height over time
- Shortness of breath (smaller lung capacity due to compressed disks)
- Change in posture (stooping or bending forward)
- A bone that breaks much more easily than expected
Causes of postmenopausal osteoporosis:
Postmenopausal osteoporosis generally develops after menopause, when estrogen levels drop precipitously. These changes lead to bone loss, usually in the trabecular (spongy) bone inside the hard cortical bone.
We do not know the exact cause of osteoporosis. However, we do know how the disease develops. Your bones are made of living, growing tissue. An outer shell of dense bone encases trabecular bone, a sponge-like bone. When a bone is weakened by osteoporosis, the “holes” in the “sponge” grow larger and more numerous, weakening the internal structure of the bone.
Risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:
Osteoporosis frequently occurs in those over age 65.
Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men
Family history of osteoporosis or fracture on the mother’s side.
If you experience any type of bone fracture after you turn 45, your chances of having osteoporosis will increase.
Caucasian and Asian women are at greater risk.
Normal menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis, and early menopause can exacerbate this risk.
Risk factors include calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency, little or no exercise, alcohol abuse, smoking, and consuming too much cola/soda.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Still need answers?
What is the link between osteoporosis and menopause?
Estrogen, a female hormone, protects against bone loss. After menopause, the ovaries produce very little estrogen. This decrease in estrogen triggers a period of rapid bone loss in women that starts one year before the final menstrual period and lasts for about three years. The natural effects of ageing on bones may also contribute to this bone loss.
How can osteoporosis be prevented?
Lifestyle plays a key role in preventing osteoporosis. Exercise, a healthy diet, and not smoking can help keep your bones strong and healthy throughout your life.
When should I see a doctor?
If you experience severe discomfort in any of the common locations for osteoporotic bone damage ( spine, hip, distal radius, humerus, pelvis, ribs, ) it could indicate an unexpected or unidentified fracture. You should seek medical evaluation as soon as you notice this type of pain.
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