Osteoporosis causes bone fractures
The World Health Organization estimates that osteoporosis causes more than 2.3 million fractures annually in Europe and the USA alone. These fractures can cause disability and even cause sufferers to become bedridden. Decreased mobility can then also lead to other complications in elderly patients. It also affects the quality of life of elderly people due in part to persistent pain and decreased independence.
Bone is living tissue
Osteoporosis is an imbalance in the turnover processes in bone tissue. We don’t always realize bone is living tissue. Bones are always recycling with old bone being broken down and being replaced with new bone tissue. As people enter their forties and fifties, more bone is broken down than is replaced. This is more pronounced in women than in men though men may also get osteoporosis.
A close look at the inside of bone shows something like a honeycomb. When you have osteoporosis, the spaces in this honeycomb grow larger. And the bone that forms the honeycomb gets smaller. The outer shell of your bones also gets thinner. All of this loss makes your bones weaker making them more prone to getting fractures if you fall.
Source: U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 1995.
Osteoporosis, fractures, and other chronic diseases no longer should be considered an inevitable part of growing old. By focusing on prevention and lifestyle changes, including physical activity and nutrition, as well as early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, people can avoid much of the damaging impact of bone disease and other chronic diseases.