June 20, 2015


Facts: Osteoporosis is a condition of decreased bone density that leaves bones brittle and, therefore, susceptible to fracture. The quality of the bone structure is also compromised in osteoporosis. Literally means holes in the bones. Postmenopausal white women are most commonly affected by osteoporosis and are most likely to fracture a bone. These fractures can occur with minor falls and even while bending and lifting. The best treatment for osteoporosis is prevention. Bone loss after menopause and with aging is expected and does not need to be treated unless the bone loss is so much that there is a risk of fracture. Primary osteoporosis can occur in both men and women at all ages. It begins shortly after menopause in women and occurs later in life in men. In contrast, secondary osteoporosis is a result of medications, or diseases such as celiac disease. In men, 30 to 60 percent of osteoporosis is associated with secondary causes (hypogonadism, glucocorticoid use and alcoholism). In pre-menopausal women, more than 50 percent is associated with secondary causes, the most common being hormone imbalance (estrogen, thyroid), glucocorticoid use, and medications for seizures. People receiving glucocorticoid therapy for two months or longer are at high risk for osteoporotic fracture.

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