is it?
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle, which leads to increased bone fragility and risk of broken bones, particularly in the hip, wrist or spine.

At least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer an osteoporatic fracture during their lifetime.
Because there are typically no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss, osteoporosis is often called “the silent thief.”

Once bones have been weakened, signs and symptoms may include: Back pain, loss of height over time, a stooped posture, a bone fracture that happens easier than expected
Get enough calcium
Those between 18 and 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70. Good sources include dairy, dark green leafy vegetables and soy.
Get enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is necessary for your body to absorb calcium. Getting enough from the sun can be a problem in high latitudes.
Exercise regularly
Strength training and weight-bearing exercises (such as walking, jogging or running) are best for building strong bones. You’ll gain the most benefits if you start when you’re young and continue to exercise throughout your life.
Complications include: Constant back pain; Bone fractures, particularly in the spine or hip; Hip fractures often happen after fall; Spinal fractures can occur even without falling
How likely are you to develop it?
The odds depends partly on how much bone mass you build up when you’re young. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have stored up and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.
Major risk factors
Major risk factors include: Your sex (women are much more likely to develop it); Age (the older you get the greater the risk); Caucasian or Asian descent; Family history of osteoporosis; Low calcium intake
November is Osteoporosis Awareness Month. Use the navigation below for more information.
Interactive: Ryan McLarty/QMI Agency