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The Bone Health & Osteoporosis Foundation says studies show about one in two women – and up to one in four men 50 and older – will break a bone due to osteoporosis. It’s sometimes called the “silent disease” because often there are no warnings in the early stages of bone loss. Only once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may have symptoms that signal the disease.
The Mayo Clinic says these signs can include:
When you’re young, it’s simpler to protect your bones. Start with these tips:
Fractures can occur in any bone, but happen most often in bones of the hip, vertebrae in the spine and the wrist, says the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. Take steps to help prevent the disease and breaks by:
Keep in mind that all adults naturally lose bone mass as they age. But some people have a greater risk for loss than others. This includes people who take medications known to cause bone loss, along with individuals who have a family history of hip fractures and other breaks.
If you have risk factors for osteoporosis, talk with your doctor about prevention strategies that may be right for you. Your doctor may suggest a bone density test to see how your bones are doing.
Originally published 8/3/2015; Revised 2017, 2022
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