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If you believe your bones are breaking ridiculously easy, it may be time to visit the
doctor to check for osteoporosis. This bone weakening disease may lead to fractures
that happen when doing the littlest of things such as a cough or sneeze.

When looking at a healthy and normal bone, you will see little spaces. However, when
osteoporosis sets in, these spaces become larger, causing the bones to become thin
and weak, resulting in the bones fracturing or breaking very easily. Though it can
happen in any bone, the most common area of bones to develop osteoporosis, and then
to experience a fracture or break, are the hips, ribs, wrists and spine.

Unfortunately, if you have osteoporosis you will probably not even be aware of it until
you break or fracture a bone. There are very few symptoms to warn or tell you that you
have developed osteoporosis, but a couple that could be warning signs are receding
gums, brittle nails, a curved or abnormal back frame, or shortened height, and a weaker
grip. If there have been others in your family who have a history of osteoporosis, making
your doctor aware of that fact could help to evaluate your risks of having it or later
developing it.

Though it is most often seen in people above the age of 45, osteoporosis has been
known to occur more in women than in men, and it is usually after a woman has gone
through menopause, starting as early as age 35. This disease is not an uncommon one,
as more than 53 million people in the United States are either at high risk for developing
it at some point in their life or already have it.

Other factors that could put an individual at risk are cigarette smoking, certain
medications, low body weight, a lack of vitamin D or calcium, little exercise, excessive
amounts of alcohol, arthritis or simply genetics.

When dealing with osteoporosis simple things such as bending a certain way or even
just walking could result in a bone break or fracture, that is why it is important to get
checked out immediately if fractures are occurring easily or if you suspect you may have
osteoporosis. Once a doctor has diagnosed a person with the disease, he/she may also
order X-rays as well as other tests to check the bone’s density to confirm it is in fact

Once confirmed, treatments for osteoporosis include a healthy diet and plenty of
exercise on a regular basis, an adequate intake of both calcium and vitamin D, and
stopping the intake of alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Depending on the how severe the
individual’s condition is, the doctor may also prescribe medication.

If you have experienced one of these medical conditions, cancer, asthma, lupus, or an
eating disorder, or if you have taken a steroid medication previously as a treatment for
one of these or a similar condition, you are more likely to develop or may possibly
already have osteoporosis.