Osteoporosis is a disease that affects bones, making them lower in density and mineral composition, and more fragile and susceptible to fractures from low impacts. The micro-architecture of the bones of osteoporosis patients changes in a way that makes it more fragile.
80% of osteoporosis patients are women, most of them are in the menopause, either naturally or surgically. In most cases the hormonal changes at the menopause play the biggest role in causing osteoporosis to women.
Men represent 20% of the osteoporosis community. Common causes of osteoporosis in men and young women include hormonal imbalances (especially the parathyroid), treatment with corticosteroids, and chronic diseases.
Life style, nutrition, and genetics play significant roles in developing osteoporosis. Low activity, deficiency in calcium and vitamin D, smoking, and alcohol consumption all contribute to osteoporosis. Asians and Caucasians are the most susceptible people to osteoporosis, while Africans are the least to develop it.
Osteoporosis can be prevented, even if your genes work towards establishing it. An active smoke- and alcohol-free life with regular exercising, consuming excess amounts of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium all work towards developing and maintaining healthy bones.
Usually the peak of bone mass is in the early twenties. If you can reach a high bone mass at the age of twenty, and maintain that mass through the age of 30, you are doing your bones the biggest favor you can ever do to them.
Osteoporosis treatment also include changes in life style to adopt healthier and more active practices, in addition to some medications.