Osteoporosis commonly affects women. Men can also develop osteoporosis, although relatively uncommon. Osteoporosis is usually regarded as a silent disease as one can’t feel the bones weakening.
Adults may commonly complain of low back pain. Some others may experience bone fracture with no or minimal trauma (“fall from a standing height”) or for those who have silent spine fracture(s) may notice that she is getting shorter or their upper back is curving forward. Other common fracture sites are hips and wrists.
Osteoporosis means “porous bone” - the inner bones which are full of holes and spaces.
University of Malaya, Faculty of Medicine Department of Medicine senior lecturer and consultant Endocrinologist Dr Lee Ling Lim (pix) emphasised that it is a bone disease which occurs when the body makes too little bone or the body losses too much bone, or both.
“Therefore, bones become weak and are more likely to break from a fall, typically from a standing height (aka “low-trauma” fracture)”.
What makes a woman more susceptible?
During childhood and adolescence, more bones are deposited and thus, the skeleton grows in size and density.
“The amount of bone tissue in skeleton (aka bone mass) can keep growing until age 30. By then, bones have reached their maximum strength and density (aka peak bone mass). Between age 30 and menopause, there is minimal change in total bone mass.”
“However, during the first few years after menopause, most women have rapid bone loss due to the loss of estrogen, which then slows but continues throughout the postmenopausal period. This loss of bone mass can lead to osteoporosis."
Age group affected?
Women who have attained menopause. In general, women aged 50 years or older are at risk. There are some risk factors for osteoporosis:
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