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Osteoporosis is a disease is characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, leading to increased bone fragility and a consequent increase in fracture risk.

One in three women and one in twelve men over 50 years of age are affected. Bones with Osteoporosis fracture more easily than normal bones. Even a minor bump or fall can cause a serious fracture.

Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease, as there are usually no signs or symptoms until someone has a fracture. Any bone can be affected but the most common are bones in the hip, spine, wrist, ribs, pelvis and upper arm. Physiotherapy can assist greatly in the management of this condition.

Menopause and osteoporosis
From about the age of 45 years, women may begin to lose bone at the rate of about 1-2% per year. This is because women’s bodies usually make less estrogen at this age. After menopause, estrogen levels continue decreasing and this speeds up bone loss to about 2-4% per year, especially in the first 5-10 years after menopause. Bone loss caused by menopause may last up to 15-20 years. The amount varies, but some women can lose as much as 30% of their bone during those years.

The male hormone, testosterone, does not decrease suddenly like estrogen.

The health of your bones depends on:

Genetics (60-80%),
The level of hormones in an individual body,
How physically active you are,
What you eat.
These things affect how well bones form in early adulthood when your bones are at their strongest. After the thirties, it is important to maintain bone strength and prevent bone loss.

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