Osteoporosis affects around 3 million people in the UK; it causes brittle, fragile bones. The NHS estimates that half of women over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture as a result of the condition.

Causes of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis usually affects post-menopausal women, but it can also affect men. The condition is particularly prevalent in women in this age group because a large amount of oestrogen is lost from the body during the menopause. There are also a number of other risk factors, which include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking
  • Low body weight
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Health conditions which affect absorption, such as coeliac disease
  • Inactive lifestyle

Treating osteoporosis

There is a number of different treatments available ranging from taking calcium supplements to having hormone therapy. Your GP will be able to advise you which treatment will suit you best.

Preventing osteoporosis

Eating healthily, taking in plenty of calcium, keeping body weight stable and getting active will reduce the likelihood of suffering with osteoporosis. Cutting down on drinking and stopping smoking will improve general health as well as decreasing the risk of developing osteoporosis.

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