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Osteoporosis

Musculoskeletal

Osteoporosis (“porous bones”) is a condition of the bones characterized by a decrease in bone density, the lower the density, the higher the risk of fracture. Less dense bones are weaker and can break even with minimal trauma. The weakness and fractures can also affect the shape of the bone causing individuals to have a hunched posture. There are different types of osteoporosis, but the most common variety affects women typically after menopause. The condition is silent and causes no or minimal symptoms until a fracture occurs. For this reason, it is recommended that women get a DEXA scan (determines bone density) after menopause. Estrogen levels drop significantly after menopause and this is thought to affect bone metabolism and mineralization, which causes osteoporosis. Prevention of osteoporosis involves addressing any risk factors if they are present. Certain lifestyle choices increase the risk of developing the condition, especially low physical activity, smoking, and drinking alcohol. With early diagnosis, you can prevent excessive bone loss and improve your quality of life with lifestyle changes and medical treatment.

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