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Osteoporosis is a disease that deteriorates the bones and leads to fractures affecting more than 44 million Americans. Osteoporotic fractures result in 432,000 admissions, 2.5 million office visits, and 180,000 nursing home admissions annually. Osteoporosis can develop over time with no symptoms until a fracture occurs. Half of all women older than 65 and one in four men are affected by osteoporosis.
- Some medications
- Sudden, severe back pain
- A stooped posture
- Progressive height loss
- Hip, wrist and/or spine fractures
Diagnosis is generally made by a doctor who will take into consideration some or all of these:
- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Skeletal x-rays
- Bone density
- Specialized laboratory test results
Healthy eating that includes foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, and weight bearing exercise can help keep bones strong to prevent and slow the progression of the disease.