Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which bones become weak and brittle, making them more fragile to fracture.
Osteoporosis, which was long thought to be a 'women's disease', can affect anyone of any gender, although it is more common in postmenopausal women. As women reach menopause their vulnerabilities to osteoporosis go up due to the sudden decrease in levels of oestrogen - a female hormone that protects bones - during this time.
While ageing is a natural part of life, losing bone density much faster than normal can put you at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis as you age. Osteoporosis may occur due to a number of factors, including -
Age – Your risk of osteoporosis increases as you get older.
Sex – Women are prone to develop osteoporosis than are men, particularly if menopause occurs early (before the age of 45).
Ethnicity - Risk is higher if you're white or of Asian descent.
Family history - A family history of fracture or osteoporosis are at an increased risk, particularly if either of your parents had a hip fracture.
Body build - Osteoporosis is also common in people who have a small, thin body frame and bone structure.
Lifestyle habits - Smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and lack of exercise can also contribute to the disease.
Low testosterone levels - Testosterone deficiency or a reduction in testosterone levels can cause osteoporosis in men.
Medical conditions - Other medical conditions such as cancer, celiac disease, kidney or liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, multiple myeloma, rheumatoid arthritis have been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Taking steps to help keep your bones healthy can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis as you get older.
World Osteoporosis Day is observed on October 20 each year. It is a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease.