Osteoporosis is a condition in which the body loses too much bone, makes too little, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break easily.

Overview and Symptoms

Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races. But white and Asian women — especially older women who are past menopause — are at highest risk. Medications, healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.

Symptoms of osteoporosis include:

  • Back pain
  • Loss of height over time
  • A stooped posture
  • A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected

Treatment

Treatment recommendations are often based on your risk of breaking a bone in the next 10 years using information such as the bone density test. If the risk is not high, treatment might not include medication and might focus instead on modifying risk factors for bone loss and falls.

For both men and women at increased risk of fracture, medications are prescribed.

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The Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism provides expertise in diagnosing, treating and managing a range of endocrine disorders. 

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism