What Are the First Signs of Osteoporosis?

older woman lifting weights

Osteoporosis can weaken your bones and increase the risk for bone fractures and breaks.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes bone loss. You can have the condition for many years without any symptoms. Many people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they break or fracture a bone.

Bone tissue is constantly being replaced. Osteoporosis is present when the replacement of bone tissue doesn’t keep up with the loss of bone tissue.

What Are the Types of Osteoporosis?

There are two types of osteoporosis:

Primary Osteoporosis: related to aging or unknown causes.
Secondary Osteoporosis: related to a range of causes including certain medical conditions.

What Are the Causes of Osteoporosis?

Many factors can increase the risk of osteoporosis:

  • Female
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Low calcium diet
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Limited mobility that inhibits walking
  • Not absorbing nutrients properly
  • Lack of vitamin D (prohibits the absorption of calcium)

What Are the Risk Factors of Osteoporosis in Women?

Risk factors particular to women for osteoporosis include:

  • Low estrogen levels
  • Amenorrhea (loss of the menstrual period)

What Are the Risk Factors of Osteoporosis in Men?

Risk factors of osteoporosis for men include:

  • Low testosterone levels
  • Certain conditions that cause changes in hormones

What Are the Early Warning Signs of Osteoporosis?

Learn the early warning signs of osteoporosis to know when to talk to your doctor for a screening:

Height loss: While losing height is common with aging, it can signal a weakening of the muscles surrounding the spine that could be connected to bone loss.

Weak, brittle fingernails: Nails are related to bone health, though other factors such as harsh chemicals and physical activities can also cause weak and brittle nails.

Cramps, muscle aches, bone pain: All of these may signal that your bones may be thinning and may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency.

Poor fitness level: Osteoporosis has been linked to an overall decline in physical fitness.

What Are the Complications of Osteoporosis?

The most serious complications of osteoporosis are bone fractures, many of which occur in the hip or spine. Spinal fractures can happen without a fall. Your spine's vertebrae can deteriorate, leading to back pain, height loss, and a hunched posture.

How Can You Help Prevent Osteoporosis?

Help prevent osteoporosis by making sure there’s plenty of calcium in your diet. Lifestyle changes such as getting regular exercise, cutting back on alcohol, and eating well can help prevent osteoporosis.

If you believe you may be at risk for osteoporosis and would like a screening, make an appointment today with Dr. Katayoun Motlagh. Dr. Motlagh specializes in treatment for osteoporosis.

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