Osteoporosis is a condition of fragile bone with an increased susceptibility to fracture.
Osteoporosis weakens bone and increases risk of bones breaking.
Bone mass (bone density) decreases after 35 years of age, and bone loss occurs more rapidly in women after menopause.
Key risk factors for osteoporosis include genetics, lack of exercise, lack of calcium and vitamin D, personal history of fracture as an adult, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, history of rheumatoid arthritis, low body weight, and family history of osteoporosis.
Patients with osteoporosis have no symptoms until bone fractures occur.
The diagnosis of osteoporosis can be suggested by X-rays and confirmed by tests to measure bone density.
Treatments for osteoporosis, in addition to prescription osteoporosis medications, include stopping use of alcohol and cigarettes, and assuring adequate exercise, calcium, and vitamin D.